Title: Possum Dreaming
Artist: Pauline Nampijinpa Singleton
Size: 90 x 60 cm. Unframed
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
COA and pictures of the artist holding and signing her work will be provide
The common brush-tail possum travels all over Warlpiri country. ‘Janganpa’ are nocturnal animals that often nest in the hollows of white gum trees. This story comes from a big hill called Mawurrji, west of Yuendumu. A group of ‘janganpa’ ancestors resided there and every night they would go out in search of food. Their hunting trips took them all over the area.
A Nampijinpa women was living at Mawurrji with her two daughters. She gave her daughters in marriage to a janganpa ancestor but later decided to run away with the girls.The janganpa ancestor angrily pursued the woman tracking them to Mawurrji where he killed them with a stone axe.
Their bodies are now rocks at this place. Warlpiri people perform a young mens initiation ceremony, which involves the brush tail possum dreaming. The possum tracks are represented as ‘E’ shaped figures and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the possum live.