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Winpurpurla (bush tucker)

Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman
Synthetic Polymer on Linen
122 x 61 cm
Warlayirti Artists


In this painting Imelda Yukenbarri has depicted her mother’s country south of Balgo, in the Great Sandy Desert called Winpurpurla named after a tjurrnu (soakwater). Winpurpurla is an inta (living water) place so it always has good water. Imelda’s mother passed this story on to her. There were three skin groups travelling from south – Nungarrayi, Nampitjin and Napangarti. They were travelling to Winpurpurla to collect a variety of kumpupatja (bush tomato), which when exposed to sun, change to the off white colour in this painting and are ready to harvest. They also came to harvest bush rasins, represented by the orange dots. The women saw the rocky hill that harboured the tjurnu. The people who were living in Winpurpurla came to them and welcomed them. When the women came near to the tjurnu they stood there singing and then kneeled down near the water’s edge. Before the women could drink water they had to drop rocks in the water. Only after they had done this could they enjoy drinking the cool water. They were all happy, singing and sharing food.

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.