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Elsie Napanangka Granites / Mina Mina Dreaming

60cm x 60cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: 3326-16


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SKU: 3326-16 Category:


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

Elsie Napanangka Granites was born in 1959 in Yuendumu, a remote aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, 290km north-west of Alice Springs. Apart from two years spent in Adelaide, South Australia, with her sister’s family, Elsie has spent her whole life in Yuendumu and is an active member of the community. She has worked in many of the aboriginal owned and governed organisations including the Women’s Centre, The Old Peoples Program, Womens Night Patrol, and Warlukurlangu Art Centre, where she worked in the preparation of canvases and paint.

Elsie has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 1987. Elsie paints various Dreaming stories but the one she has consistently painted since 2007 is her father’s dreaming, Jayinki Jukurrpa, dreaming relating to Janyinki, country close to Yuendumu. Although this jukurrpa is often associated with men’s ceremonial activity in that country it is also related to sites where women travelled to collect bush foods. Janyinki is Elsie’s traditional country. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions of Aboriginal Art.

Elsie has three children, many grandchildren, and one great granddaughter who she helps to bring up. She also teaches them her dreaming stories that have been handed down to her from her own parents and their parents and so on for millennia, stories which relate to her country, its features and the animals and plants that live on it.


This Dreaming comes from Mina Mina, a very important women’s Dreaming site far to the west of Yuendumu near Lake Mackay and the WA border. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this Dreaming are Napangardi/Napanangka women and Japangardi/Japanangka men; the area is sacred to Napangardi and Napanangka women. There are a number of ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and a ‘maluri’ (clay pan) at Mina Mina.

In the Dreamtime, ancestral women danced at Mina Mina and ‘karlangu’ (digging sticks) rose up out of the ground. The women collected the digging sticks and then travelled on to the east, dancing, digging for bush tucker, collecting ‘ngalyipi’ (snake vine), and creating many places as they went. ‘Ngalyipi’ is a rope-like creeper that grows up the trunks and limbs of trees, including ‘kurrkara’ (desert oak). It is used as a ceremonial wrap and as a strap to carry ‘parraja’ (coolamons) and ‘ngami’ (water carriers). ‘Ngalyipi’ is also used to tie around the forehead to cure headaches, and to bind cuts.

The women stopped at Karntakurlangu, Janyinki, Parapurnta, Kimayi, and Munyuparntiparnti, sites spanning from the west to the east of Yuendumu. When they stopped, the women dug for bush foods like ‘jintiparnta’ (desert truffle). The Dreaming track eventually took them far beyond Warlpiri country. The track passed through Coniston in Anmatyerre country to the east, and then went on to Alcoota and Aileron far to the northeast of Yuendumu and eventually on into Queensland.

In Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. In many paintings of this Jukurrpa, lines are used to represent the ‘ngalyipi’ (snake vine) and concentric circles are often used to represent the ‘jintiparnta’ (desert truffles) that the women have collected and the ‘mulju'(water soakages).

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