New Works


24-410 – Gladys Bidu


1 in stock

Gladys Bidu
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30 cm: acrylic on linen
Year: 2024

Minyarra/ Jaliirpa/ Jurnta (Bush Onion)

Minyarra (bush onion), otherwise known as jaliirpa or jurnta, is a favoured bush tucker amongst the Martu, popular for its sweet, nutty taste and for the relative ease with which it is foraged. Between January and June minyarra is typically collected in large quantities close to springs and salt lakes, and then shared and eaten over the following days. The bulbs can also be stored for up to two years. 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. Whilst desert life has moved away from mobile hunter-gatherer subsistence throughout the course of the twentieth century, bush tucker continues to be a significant component of the modern Martu diet. Hunting and gathering bush tucker remains equally valuable as an important cultural practice that is passed on intergenerationally. Though hunting and gathering implements have been modernised, methods of harvesting, tracking and the use of fire burning to drive animals from their retreats are still commonly practiced today.

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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.