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My Father's Country by Nora Davidson 91 x 61cm

My Father's Country by Nora Davidson 91 x 61cm

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Acrylic on canvas
91 x 61cm


This is a story about kaliny-kalinypa (honey grevillea plant), which Anangu (the term for people in Pitjantjatjara) use as a type of bush lolly, sucking the nectar out of the plant. In the Tjukurpa (Dreaming story) a father and son, Wati Kutjara Wanampi (two male water snakes), are living at Pukara, an important waterhole site near Irrunytju (Wingellina). Because of the kaliny-kalinypa which is found at the site the water there has a sweet taste and lots of people go there to access it. But father Wati Wanampi doesn’t like this and he tells them to go back to their own country. The people leave and the father and son travel to Willuna, where they camp for weeks. When they return to Pukara, they are awoken by a buzzing sound. Minyma Punpunpa (the female flies) are making lots of noise as they buzz around the honey bush. This prompts the father and son to get up to go and collect honey. While they are doing this, a Wati Mututa (black ant) finds the father and son, and spears the son in his side. The young son starts spitting and he spits up the yellow and orange seeds of all the different types of honey grevillea. These plants can still be found at this site today. There is a big variety of honey grevillea plants including kaliny-kalinypa, ultunkunpa, piruwa and witjinti.





Ngutjanka was born in the bush, Anangu way in 1947, at Multju rockhole, near to the present day community of Mantamaru (Jameson) in Western Australia. Her country is Tjala Tjukurpa (Honey Ant Dreaming). As a young girl her family took her to Warburton Mission, where she lived in the home. "We used to call Mr Wade for kunkunpa lolly (bedtime lolly)". At Christmas her mother and father would take her to holiday walking around the bush. After she married she worked as a domestic on a station at Leonora, while her husband worked mustering cattle. She later moved to Papulankatja, WA.