Thelma Dundan (Dunjan) Judson
61 x 91 cm: acrylic on canvas
Milkarra is a soak located just north of the eastern end of the Percival Lakes region in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. This site lies within Ngarga’s ngurra (home Country, camp) through her father, and was part of the area which she knew intimately and travelled extensively with her family in her youth. Ngarga recalls walking around this Country when she was a little girl. Sometimes she would wait here while her parents went out hunting. It’s a good area to hunt for little goannas, blue tongue lizards, wild cats and foxes.
Milkarra is also known for its abundance of minyarra (bush onions). Minyarra (bush onion) are a favoured bush tucker amongst the Martu, popular for their sweet, nutty taste and for the relative ease with which they are foraged. Typically, minyarra is collected in large quantities close to springs, and then shared and eaten over the following days. The minyarra plant is small and grass like, with edible tubers at the root. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are harvested by first loosening the soil at their base with a pounding stone, and then pulling out the plant.
During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) period, Martu would traverse very large distances annually in small family groups, moving seasonally from water source to water source, and hunting and gathering bush tucker as they went. At this time knowledge of water sources was critical for survival, and today Martu Country is still defined in terms of the location and type of water. Each of the hundreds of claypans, rockholes, waterholes, soaks and springs found in the Martu desert homelands is known by name, location, quality and seasonal availability through real life experience and the recounting of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives.
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.