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Selma Nunay Coulthard
Watercolour on paper
21 x 30 cm; (F) 37.5 x 28.5 cm
Iltja Ntjarra (Many Hands) Art Centre


The painting for Desert Mob tells the story of the old people. This story happened in the early days. The Lyerpa is the mother-in-law to the Rainbow Serpent Snake. The Snake will avoid the mothers-in-law, it won’t have any contact with them. The Snake will chase and attack people, but once people get close to the tree they will be saved, as the Snake will not go anywhere near the Lyerpa. This story is about the Lyerpa and the Serpent Snake, connected to Dreamtime and the old people. The message from this story was used as a method to protect oneself: if you saw a snake you would know that you can hide under the Lyerpa tree.

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.