61 x 91 cm: acrylic on canvas
Minyipuru (Jakulyukulyu, Seven Sisters)
The term Jukurrpa is often translated in English as the ‘dreaming’, or ‘dreamtime’. It refers generally to the period in which the world was created by ancestral beings, who assumed both human and nonhuman forms. These beings shaped what had been a formless landscape; creating waters, plants, animals, and people. At the same time they provided cultural protocols for the people they created, as well as rules for interacting with the natural environment. At their journey’s end, the ancestral beings transformed themselves into important waters, hills, rocks, and even constellations.
Minyipuru, or Jakulyukulyu (Seven Sisters) is a central Jukurrpa narrative for Martu, Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people that is associated with the seasonal Pleiades star constellation. Relayed in song, dance, stories and paintings, Minyipuru serves as a creation narrative, a source of information relating to the physical properties of the land, and an embodiment of Aboriginal cultural laws. When Martumili Artists was established in 2005, this was the first Jukurrpa story the artists agreed to paint for a broader public.
Beginning in Roebourne on the west coast of Western Australia, the story morphs in its movement eastward across the land, following a group of women as they walk, dance, and even fly from waterhole to waterhole. As they travel the women camp, sing, wash, dance and gather food, leaving markers in the landscape and creating landforms that remain to this day, such as groupings of rocks and trees, grinding stones and seeds. During the entirety of their journey the women are pursued by a lustful old man, Yurla, although interactions with other animals, groups of men, and spirit beings are also chronicled.
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.