Title: Milky Way Dreaming
Artist: Kathleen Martin Nungarrayi
Size: 122 x 60 cm. Unframed
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
COA and pictures of the artist holding and signing her work will be provided.
There are many versions of the story but all have common elements to them.
The sisters were out gathering bush food with their coolamons and digging sticks when two hunters came upon them.
The men were invited to have some food and drink and as they enjoyed the food they could not help but notice the beauty of the sisters and immediately fell in love.
The sisters realizing that the men wanted more than the food and drink started to run away toward the bush from the clearing of their camp.
The men followed in hot pursuit and today they can be seen chasing them through the night sky.
Sometimes this rising from the ground to the sky is shown as footprints starting large and getting smaller as they go up into space.
Sometimes it is shown as simply bones on the ground indicating the death of the women and the stars representing the dead spirits of the women.
The keepers of the dream-time also realized this match should not be made and were responsible for the lifting of the sisters into the sky to prevent them from being caught because the skin groups were wrong for mating.
This shows the importance of the right and wrong skin group relationships and that the spirits are always watching.
The men were overcome with lust and lost there teaching and pursued the sisters anyway.
Now you can see the two men at the ends of the group of seven stars, still chasing them through the night sky in both hemispheres destined by the spirits to never catch them.
The seven sisters are a constant reminder of the power of the spirits.
In Aboriginal Australia, the stories associated with the stars and night skies carry meanings which probe deep into the law and culture and social structures of the people. As the artists represent these subjects they are also maintaining the stories and keeping the meanings strong within the group.