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Dulcie Long Pula / Bush Leaves (16B)
30cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas
Like her mother and aunties before her, Dulcie paints the Desert Yam (or Bush Plum) story from her family’s country. The yam grows underground with its viny shrub growing above ground up to one metre high. It is normally found on Spinifex sand plains and produces large flowers after summer rain. The yam is a tuber, or swollen root, of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food for the desert aborigines where it can be harvested at any time of the year. It is also renowned for its medicinal properties. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and as an insect repellent. In this painting, Dulcie depicts the leaves of the yam paying homage to the spirit of this special plant in the hope that it will regenerate.