Click image to enlarge
Click images above to view larger

Thomas Jangala Rice / Water Dreaming – Puyurru (1A)

61cm x 30cm Acrylic on Canvas


SKU: 3365-18


credit card icons


shipping icon
SKU: 3365-18 Category:

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

Thomas Jangala Rice was born in the bush, in 1938 and grew up very traditionally living with his family group near Mt Doreen Station, an extensive cattle breeding station, situated 345km from Alice Springs and established long before Yuendumu was created. He learned to hunt from his father and still goes out regularly hunting for bush tucker in the country surrounding Yuendumu.

He moved to Yuendumu with his two promised wives when he was a young man and has always played an important role in this community. He later married Jeannie Nungarrayi Egan. He first worked as an Indigenous Police Aid and tracker. He also worked for many years with Men’s Night Patrol and at the school teaching children traditional culture and as Janitor. For many years he was on a number of committees including the Yuendumu Council, the local store, Central Land Council (CLC) and also a long serving committee member of the art centre, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, located in Yuendumu and for whom he has been steadily painting with since 1987.

Thomas paints his traditional Jukurrpa stories which are related to his traditional country. These stories were passed down to him by his father and his father’s fathers before him for millennia. Although he has painted many stories, for the past few years he has been painting his Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) which relates directly to Puryurru, an area west of Yuendumu.

The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are ‘mulju’ (soakages), or naturally occurring wells. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for this site are Nangala / Nampijinpa women and Jangala / Jampijinpa men. Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. The storm travelled across the country from the east to the west, initially travelling with a ‘pamapardu Jukurrpa’ (termite Dreaming) from Warntungurru to Warlura, a waterhole 8 miles east of Yuendumu. At Warlura, a gecko called Yumariyumari blew the storm on to Lapurrukurra and Wilpiri. Bolts of lightning shot out at Wirnpa (also called Mardinymardinypa) and at Kanaralji. At this point the Dreaming track also includes the ‘kurdukurdu mangkurdu Jukurrpa’ (children of the clouds Dreaming). The water Dreaming built hills at Ngamangama using baby clouds and also stuck long pointy clouds into the ground at Jukajuka, where they can still be seen today as rock formations.

The termite Dreaming eventually continued west to Nyirripi, a community approximately 160 km west of Yuendumu. The water Dreaming then travelled from the south over Mikanji, a watercourse with soakages northwest of Yuendumu. At Mikanji, the storm was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlanji’ (brown falcon) and taken farther north. At Puyurru, the falcon dug up a giant ‘warnayarra’ (rainbow serpent). The serpent carried water with it to create another large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this story are Jangala men and Nangala women. After stopping at Puyurru, the water Dreaming travelled on through other locations including Yalyarilalku, Mikilyparnta, Katalpi, Lungkardajarra, Jirawarnpa, Kamira, Yurrunjuku, and Jikaya before moving on into Gurindji country to the north.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming). Short dashes are often used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds), and longer, flowing lines represent ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (soakages) and river bed.

zip logo

Pay in instalments over 6-12 Months Interest Free!

Click here for full details + terms & conditions.
(Currently available to Australian residents only)