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Ntariala arna urrknga (Ntaria clay)

Hayley Panangka Coulthard
Terracotta and Underglazes
44x 32 Ø cm / 7.5 x 4 x 10.5 cm / 7 x 4 x 11.5 cm / 5 x 3.5 x 9 cm
Hermannsburg Potters


This is a local clay story. The first two men doing claywork in Ntaria were Nahasson Ungwanaka and Joseph Rontji. They made with local clay. They made little figures, like horses, camels, people, using clay from the creek. They were the first ones, the first potters. They were working with one white man, Victor Jaensch, at his house next to the historic precinct. That’s how Hermannsburg Potters started. Nahasson was Rahel Ungwanaka’s husband. Nahasson, Joseph and Dennis Ebatarinja, they were talking and they asked a potter, Naomi Sharpe, ‘Can you come and teach the ladies how to make pottery with clay’. That’s the story I’m painting on my pot. These three little birds on the side, I made them myself with local clay . I found that clay myself, down at the creek. There’s urrpara (magpie), titjarritjarra (willy wagtail) and nyingka (finch).

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.