Artist: Valda Napangardi Granites
Title: Mina Mina
Size: 60 x 60 cm Unframed
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
COA and pictures of the artist holding and signing her work will be provided.
This ‘ngalyipi Jukurrpa’ (snakevine [Tinospora smilacina] Dreaming) comes from Mina Mina. Mina Mina is an extremely important ceremonial site for Napangardi and Napanangka women that is located approximately 600kms west of Yuendumu, just east of Lake Mackay and the WA border. The area has a ‘marluri’ (salt lake or claypan) that is usually dry, without water. There are also a number of ‘mulju’ (soakages), sandhills, and a large stand of ‘kurrkara’ (desert oaks). The Mina Mina Jukurrpa is an important source of Warlpiri ritual knowledge and social organization, particularly relating to the different roles performed by men and women.
This artwork depicts the movement of the Mina Mina women (ancestors) as they journeyed across salt Lake Mackay, a significant site near Yuendumu in Central Australia. Throughout their travels the Warlpiri women used digging sticks during their ceremonies, as well as gathering bush tucker. The Mina Mina site is scared and it is the ancestral home for the Napangardi and Napanangka family groups.
Mina Mina is also the birthplace of the digging stick and a large stand of Eucalyptus trees (Casuarina Decaisneana) now stand where tradition says the digging sticks emerged from the ground.
The Warlpiri Snake Ancestor, was travelling north. At a certain point they met and for a while the snake ancestor watched the women dancing, without revealing himself. Their dance was energetic, such that the dust billowed and rose, eventually elevating the Ancestral Snake and bearing him away. The characteristics in this work are associated with Mina Mina country and Yingipurlangu, the artist’s homeland on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts in Central Australia. Mina Mina country is a place significant to Napangardi and Napanangka women, who are the custodians of this Dreaming.
Many of these family groups produce art works that depict this journey of their ancestors as they crossed the desert to reach the Mina Mina site. Even today the Warlpiri women regularly gather at this site in a ceremony to re-enact this Dreaming story. Here they paint each other’s bodies with Dreaming designs and chant and dance the age old creation story.