The artwork, displayed at the top of this email, depicts designs associated with the site of Tjukurla in Western Australia, near where the community now stands. In ancestral times a group of women gathered at Tjukurla to perform the dances and sing the songs associated with the area. While at Tjukurla the women also spun hair with which to make nyimparra (hair-string skirts), which are worn during ceremonies.
The women later travelled north towards the Kintore region. As they travelled they gathered large quantities of the edible fruit known as pura (also known in Pintupi as pintalypa), or bush tomato, from the small shrub Solanum chippendalei. This fruit is the size of a small apricot, and after the seeds have been removed, can be stored for long periods by halving the fruit and skewering them onto a stick. The women also collected mangata (quandong) from the small tree Santalum acuminatum, a traditional staple food much sought after throughout this region, as well as the edible berries known as kampurarrpa or desert raisin from the small shrub Solanum centrale. These berries can be eaten straight from the bush but are sometimes ground into a paste and cooked in the coals to form a type of damper. The various bush foods collected by the women are represented in the painting by the numerous small circles.
KATARRA BUTLER NAPALTJARRI
Katarra was borne near the current location of the Tjukurla Community in Western Australia circa 1946. Katarra is the second wife of Anatjari Tjakamarra who was an important member of the original group of painters who started the Central Desert painting movement in Papunya in 1971.