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Yalka at Karrkurutinytja

Daphne Marks
Synthetic Polymer on Linen
60 x 60 cm
Ikuntji Artists


My grandmother, Narputta used to make that painting. She told me that story. I used to work here (Ikuntji Women’s Centre) as a cook. I came to learn here. I saw my grandma painting. I learnt from her. She told me that story Yalka, bush food. For a long time those old ladies have been looking for Yalka, digging for Yalka, taking the fruit, cooking it in the fire. We cook them just a little bit, like Maku (witchetty grub). I have been looking for that Yalka with my grandmother. Creek bed at Karrkurutinyja. Two old women, two Nungurrayi, came across from Pulpa and started Gathering bush onions, putting them into coolamons. They went on a journey west. They approached a group of men and watched them, whilst hiding in the bushed at Pimarrpa (Soakage near Kiwirrkura). There was another lady, Alkiljarra Nakamarra, who came along on their tracks. She saw them where they had gathered bush onions. She became upset that they’d gathered them all up and there were none left. The Nakamarra started walking and came across the creek, where she started collecing mungilpa. She came across two Tjangalas (Mungilnga and Tiwilgna). Next to them was a rock hole and Atjakalya Nakamarra, who was making damper for them. Mungilnga had the smaller damper. The two Tjangalas ate their damper then she flew off and became a rock there at Kurultu.” Yalka Tjukurrpa, as told by Narputta.

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.