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Jacinta Numina Napanangka / Bush Tucker Dreaming (1A)

63cm x 90cm Acrylic on Linen

SKU: A13862


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SKU: A13862 Category: Brand: . Artist:

Born: 1967
Community: Utopia, Central Desert
Outstation: Stirling Station
Language: Anmatyerre

Jacinta Numina was born at Stirling Station, Central Australia in 1965 and is niece to the world acclaimed Petyarre sisters from Utopia. In the early eighties she started painting with a group of lady elders from the Utopia region. The central theme of her artwork relates to her knowledge of the Anmatyerre (Women`s) Law and her country.

In 1996, Jacinta moved to Darwin to formally study art at Charles Darwin University and completed her Associate Degree in Art and Design in 2003. The next year saw Jacinta complete her traineeship in printmaking and was then appointed as a fulltime printmaker at Northern Editions, she currently works with the NT Government.

Jacinta paints mainly on canvas but she has also painted artefacts such as shields, coolamons and didgeridoos.


In this painting, Jacinta has depicted a number of women with their coolamons and digging sticks collecting bush plums, honey ants and a goanna, all of which are part of their staple diet.

Aboriginal women have their own ceremonies in which a series of song and dance cycles tell of the Ancestral Beings who walked the earth teaching women’s law and ceremony to isolated groups living throughout the desert. Each tribe has its own set of women ancestors with different stories, designs and dances, but most of the ceremonies have one theme common to all groups – that of food gathering as the most important part of women’s lives. Men also can depict women’s dreaming, but they frown on women painting men’s ceremonies.

The song and dance cycles mainly revolve around bush tucker, such as yam, banana, wild tomato, plum, onions, honey ants, witchetty grubs, nuts and berries. In their paintings they depict the implements they use, including digging sticks, grinding stones, and coolamons for carrying. The abstract figures they show are the same as those painted by men. For example, a ‘U’ shape represents a person or groups of people sitting down with crossed legs. A larger ‘U’ indicates a windbreak. Concentric circles can represent a campsite, stone, waterhole or fire. The exact imprint of human feet or animal paws depicts tracks of humans, emus, possums, kangaroos etc.

Yurampi, one of the Ancestral Beings of the dreamtime, decided to change into a honey ant, and his followers who had walked with him through the desert also changed their forms. The site where they died and went underground was Yuelamu on Mt. Allan, this site of the Honey Ant Dreaming is very sacred. Here they built complicated hives beneath the ground. The worker ants feed the drones, which store the nectar of the mulga trees in their abdomens, regurgitating them in times of shortage.

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