Shoshanna (Sharna) Jeffries (Long)
36 x 46 cm: acrylic on canvas
“These [are] emu eggs. In the spinifex. Wiluna. My mother’s side. They just look for those emu tracks, forwards and then going back. They follow them back to the nest. They know how to find them, emu eggs. And then eat them.”
Depicted in this work are karlaya (emu) eggs; these are large, flightless birds endemic to Australia, and found across the whole country. Emus have been hunted by Martu people as a source of bush tucker from the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era through to today. Typically, emus were tracked using their distinctive jina (tracks, footprints). Acute skill in track observation and identification traditionally possessed by Aboriginal people developed directly in relation to their past hunter-gatherer existence, when survival depended in large part on the successful tracking of hunted animals. In the absence of an actual animal sighting, tracks act as an identifier that an animal was present, which were then followed to the animal’s location.
Martumili Artists warns visitors that our website includes images and artworks of Artists who have passed away which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.
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.