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Dora Napaljarri Kitson / Budgerigar Dreaming (1A)

61cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 1332-18


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SKU: 1332-18 Category:

Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance

Dora Napaljarri Kitson was born on the 13th of April 1950, in Willowra, a remote aboriginal community 220 km north-west of Alice Springs and 200 km from Yuendumu. She grew up in Willowra with her family and siblings, Julie Napaljarri, Carol Napaljarri, and Maisie Napaljarri Kitson (deceased). Dora attended the local school in Willowra. Later she moved to Yuendumu with her family and has lived in the community ever since. She has two daughters, Julie Napurrurla and Janet Napurrurla Gordon and 5 grand-children.

Dora, with her sisters, have been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation located in Yuendumu since 2002. She paints her Father’s and Grandfather’s Ngatyerri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming), stories that relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. They were passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia.

When Dora is not painting, she loves to go out hunting with her family for witchetty grubs and honey ants. She also likes to collect bush medicines.


The Jukurrpa site shown in this painting for Ngatijirri (budgerigar) is at Yangarnmpi, south of Yuendumu. ‘Ngatijirri’ are small, bright green birds native to central Australia which are common around the Yuendumu area, especially after the summer rains. Men would hunt for ‘ngatijirri’ nests, robbing them of eggs and juvenile birds, which are both considered delicacies. The men would also go out hunting for adult, flying ‘ngatijirri’, which they would kill by swinging branches, killing sticks or ‘karli’ (boomerangs) to hit the birds in flight.

The ‘ngatijirri’ travelled to Yangarnmpi from Patirlirri, near Willowra to the east of Yuendumu and travelled further on to Marngangi, north/west of Mount Dennison and west of Yuendumu. Each time the flock of ancestral ‘ngatijirri’ lands, they perform ceremonies, singing and dancing as they fly and roost in the trees. The sites of these ceremonies are depicted in this painting as concentric circles, while cross-like shapes depict the footprints of the birds on the ground and give an indication of the large flocks of ‘ngatijirri’ that can be found near Yangarnmpi and other sites close to Yuendumu.

After good rains ‘ngatijirri’ can successfully breed several times, resulting in an explosion of the population in a short time. Custodians for the Ngatijirri Jukurrpa are Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women and Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men.

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