76 x 121 cm: acrylic on linen
Kurta-Kurta (Camel Rock)
“This is daddy’s ngurra (home Country, camp), mummy’s ngurra.”
– Bugai Whyoulter
Kurta-kurta is a claypan and soak located north of Parnngurr Aboriginal community, and at the heart of the Karlamilyi River (Rudall River) region. This site lies within Bugai’s ngurra (home Country, camp) through her mother and father, and was part of the area which she knew intimately and travelled extensively with her family in her youth. Bugai’s family would regularly travel between Wantili (Warntili, Canning Stock Route Well 25), a large and culturally significant claypan), and Kurta-kurta, where they would meet with the Yates family and then travel together to Karlamilyi.
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.