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Lanita Numina Napanangka / Water Dreaming (3A)

93cm x 97cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: A12267

$650.00

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SKU: A12267 Category:

Born: c. 1965
Community: Utopia, Central Desert
Outstation: Stirling Station
Language: Anmatyerre

Lanita is from Sterling Station which is Anmatyarre country near Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia. She was born in the desert homelands and doesn’t know her birth date. She is now living in Darwin along with her sisters Caroline, Jacinta, Louise and Sharon, also talented artists.

The sisters were all taught to paint by their mother, Barabara Mbitjana and their famous aunties, Kathleen and Gloria Petyarre. A painting of Lanita’s was presented to Princess Mary and Prince Frederick of Denmark as a wedding gift by the Danish community of Darwin NT.

The style of artwork belongs to her desert people of Central Australia. Her art themes represent body markings for women’s ceremonies and stories of hunting and gathering in their traditional country.

In the Dreamtime, Jangala and Jampijinpa, two Ancestral Beings of the Central/Western Desert tribes, went throughout the Western Desert of Central Australia teaching law and ceremony to Aborigines living at isolated camps. They found many places where the waterholes and creeks had completely dried up, forcing people to leave their camps and wander through the desert trying to find water. Many died of thirst. These two ancestors sat down one day to consider how they could alleviate the distress caused by long periods of drought. They decided to create a special ceremony called Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming), and called on the Lightning Man, boss of the storms, to send lightning strikes into the sky. The first people to see these flashes of light were so terrified that they took up spears and boomerangs to fight them. The ancestors then summoned the great Rainbow Serpent to growl continuously, causing loud thunder to roll across the sky, followed by heavy rain as its forked tongue pierced the storm clouds. As rain poured down, the people dropped their weapons and began to sing and dance with glee. Waterholes were filled and creeks ran with fresh water. Grass sprouted underneath the sand and plants flourished. Animals came to drink at the waterholes, and provided a further source of food for the starving people. Later, the summer sun dried the stalks of edible plant and the wind lifted up seedpods and distributed them at places throughout the desert, thus ensuring food for the people living there.

In rainmaking ceremonies all of these events are re-enacted by the performers in a series of song and dance cycles. The two rain ancestors came to a place called Mikanji, a small waterhole just north of Yuendumu. Here they saw in the sand the tracks of other water/rain ancestors from the Anmatyerre and Pintubi tribes. The combined presence of the Warlpiri rainmakers and the convergence of tracks of rainmakers from other tribes caused a great storm, which spread across the land. It was so heavy and continuous that two big floods started. One of these was at Thompson’s Rockhole, 350 km south of Lajamanu, and the other was at Karlupurlurnu, a lake south of Lajamanu. The rains cascaded from waterhole to waterhole and down dry creek beds until all were filled to overflowing.

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