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Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters)

Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM
51 x 25 x 15 cm
Ernabella Arts


Kungkarangkalpa means the Seven Sisters. This is an extensive creation story that relates to the Pleiades constellation in the southern hemisphere. The story traverses Australia taking on different forms, however local women are privy to the part of the story which takes place in the country near Pukatja. For this part of the story, the man called Nyiru is chasing the sisters as he wants to sleep with the oldest sister. All the younger sisters are deeply afraid of him. As Nyiru is chasing the sisters, he tries to catch them by using magic to turn himself into the most tempting bush tomatoes for the sisters to eat and the most beautiful ili (fig) tree for the sisters to camp under. However, the sisters are aware of his magic and go hungry and run through the night rather than be caught by Nyiru. Eventually, to escape Nyiru, the sisters fly into the sky where they turn into stars and form the constellation.

Desert Mob is presented annually in Mparntwe | Alice Springs on Arrernte Country.

On behalf of Desart’s staff and art centre members, the Executive Committee humbly and respectfully acknowledge the Arrernte Apmereke Artweye (Traditional Owners) and Kwertengerle (Traditional Managers) of Mparntwe.


Desart respectfully advises Aboriginal readers that this website may contain names, images and artworks of people who have passed away.