61 x 91 cm: acrylic on canvas
“Kukulyurru has permanent water and is a place where Minyipuru (Jakulyukulyu, Seven Sisters) stopped, sat down to rest and then travelled onwards.”
– Mulyatingki Marney
Kukulyurru is a small warla (lake) located northeast of Nyayartakujarra (Ngayarta Kujarra, Lake Dora). The site was a popular camping ground during the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era, and at times Warnman, Nyangumarta and Manyjilyjarra people would meet here. As Mulyatingki recounts, Kukulyurru also features in the central Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narrative of the Minyipuru. The women stopped at Kukulyurru during their long journey east.
Kukulyurru formed part of Mulyatingki’s ngurra (home Country, camp) through her grandmother. The Western Desert term ‘ngurra’ is hugely versatile in application. Broadly denoting birthplace and belonging, ngurra can refer to a body of water, a camp site, a large area of Country, or even a modern house. People identify with their ngurra in terms of specific rights and responsibilities, and the possession of intimate knowledge of the physical and cultural properties of one’s Country. This knowledge is traditionally passed intergenerationally through family connections. Painting ngurra, and in so doing sharing the Jukurrpa stories and physical characteristics of that place, has today become an important means of cultural maintenance. Physical maintenance of one’s ngurra, like cultural maintenance, ensures a site’s wellbeing, and is a responsibility of the people belonging to that area.
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Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.