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Lanita Numina Napanangka / Yam Dreaming (1A)

103cm x 97cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: A12727


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SKU: A12727 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 Ancestral Beings walked through the desert, alone or in groups, teaching law and ceremony to Aborigines living at isolated camps. They created sacred sites such as hills and rocky outcrops, which changed the shape of the hitherto flat landmass. Trees, plants and seeds were distributed to these isolated groups, thus ensuring their survival of the desert. Ancestral beings who felt they were in danger or that it was time for them to die could transform themselves into other creatures or metamorphose into rocks, hills, plants and trees in which their spirits would live on forever.

Today ceremonies honouring these spirits are still performed at sacred sites. Yala was a yam ancestor who travelled throughout the desert in his human form, creating increased centres of wild bush potatoes in the form of sweet yams.

One of the main centres was at a place called Yaltjiyaal, west of Alice Springs. When Yala felt too tired to continue living he lay down at this place and changed into a yam, sending out roots from which tubers eventually grew in all directions.

Ceremonies are regularly held at this site to ensure that good supplies of yams will continue throughout the seasons.

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