Story behind the painting
‘Janganpa’ or brush tail possums are nocturnal animals that live and nest in white gum trees (‘wapunungka’).
Janganpa Jukurrpa (common brush-tail possum Dreaming) travels all over Warlpiri country.
This story is about a group of “janganpa” from a big hill called Mawurrji, west of Yuendumu and north of Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs). The family of ‘janganpa’ ancestors lived there. Each night they would go out in hunting forf food. They went to Wirlki and Wanapirdi, where they found ‘pamapardu’ (flying ants). They travelled on to Ngarlkirdipini looking for water.
A Nampijinpa women was living at Mawurrji with her two daughters. She gave her daughters in marriage to a Jupurrurla ‘janganpa’ but later decided to run away with them.
The Jupurrurla furiously ran after the women. He pursued them to Mawurrji where he killed them with a stone axe. Their bodies are now rocks at this place.
Warlpiri people perform a young men’s initiation ceremony, which includes the Janganpa Jukurrpa.
The Janganpa Jukurrpa belongs to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men and Nakamarra/Napurrurla women.
Customary icons are used in Warlpiri paintings. Jukurrpa. ‘Janganpa’ tracks are often represented as ‘E’ shaped figures and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the ‘janganpa’ live, and also the sites at Mawurrji.
Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance