Mary Roberts Nakamarra #1602


artist – Mary Roberts Nakamarra

community – Papunya Tjupi Arts

title: Yalka Tjukurrpa (Bush Onion)

year painted: 2023

dimensions: 122 x 46cm
medium: Acrylic on canvas
code: 1602

stretched: yes

about this painting:

Mary has depicted designs associated with Yalka Tjukurrpa (Bush Onion Dreaming) at Murini, near another sacred site of Winparrku, west of Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory. The Yalka is a traditional bush food represented here by the circles with meandering lines emanating from them.The long parallel lines represent creek beds, with waterholes being the concentric circles, U shapes are the women and the short parallel lines are wana (digging sticks) and trees. Bush onions may be eaten raw or cooked after removing the hard casing. They are a small onion sedge with corms on shallow roots, the size of a small shallot. The women would perform a traditional ceremony in honour of the Bush Onion where they dance and paint their breast, chest and forearms in ceremonial body designs. They also decorate their bodies with feathers and dance with ceremonial objects such as nulla nullas (ceremonial dancing baton).