Ruth was born in the bush at Granite Downs cattle station around 1960 where her parents were working as station hands. Her father's country is Kampurarpapiti in Western Australia and her mother's place is Tjalinyla close to Tjuntjuntjara (Spinifex Country) also in Western Australia. Ruth's grandfather had three wives, as was common for traditional Pitjantjatjara men. Ruth's grandmother was the first wife. Wingu Tingima was the third wife and culturally one of Ruth's grandmothers.