Mitching is very good Mum. She was adoped by a loving family from NSW and is now living a very good life there.
- Acrylic on metal
- Dimensions: 15cm x 12cm
This original work of art supports a community-based social program keeping animals and people in Yuendumu healthy, safe and happy. Dogs in Warlpiri are called ‘Jarntu’ or ‘maliki’ . Families in Yuendumu tend to own many dogs. They are good ‘marlpa’ (company). Many people think of their dogs as ‘warlalja’ (family).
Dogs in Yuendumu like to follow their owners around whenever they can. Some people use their dogs to help them hunt ‘marlu’ (kangaroo) and ‘wardapi’ (goanna), among other animals. People also have dogs to protect themselves from intruders, monsters, and other things that might try to hurt them and their family. Many monsters are invisible to ‘yapa’ (Aboriginal people). However, dogs are able to see and smell them. Dogs will warn ‘yapa’ about them or steer them away from the monsters, and thereby keep them safe.
‘Jarntu’ or ‘maliki’ also feature in a number of ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming) stories. One ‘maliki Jukurrpa’ (dog Dreaming) comes from a site called Pindara, southwest of Yuendumu. Another dog Dreaming story, ‘malikijarra Jukurrpa’ (two dogs Dreaming), comes from country adjacent to Warlarla (Rabbit Flat). This site is part of a long Dreaming track that stretches from Yarrajalpa in the extreme west of Warlpiri country to Warlaku (Ali Curung) in the east. This Dreaming story describes proper conduct in families and marriages.
Lajamanu has a population of around 900 Warlpiri people. The older generation see Warnayaka as an avenue to achieve a number of needs that are present in their community.
At the centre these elders still create their dot paintings. The most important thing expressed by members, is the need to preserve and pass on the cultural significance of Warlpiri, the culture of the people of Lajamanu, which encompasses not only art, but includes language, social structure, law and country. In doing so it is understood that excellence in art, prosperity from art sales, employment opportunities and preservation of pride in being Warlpiri will result.
The art centre is a Warlpiri corporation and is staffed mainly by the children of the older generation of Indigenous Lajamanu residents who remember their first contact with white Australia. They maintain the computerised data base and run the art centre production. Older and younger community members produce Aboriginal dot paintings and make wooden artefacts.
The centre is a place for a cup of tea and a song and dance, and then a trip into the Spinifex desert to look for goanna and lizards or to collect bush coconut, bush banana, yams and bush honey from native bees.
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