Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)
Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)
Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)
Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)
Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)

Yangi Yangi Fox Profile & Artworks

Tjakura (Great Desert Skink)

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Contemporary carvings by Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known as punu, hand carved and decorated with walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with the Tjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians and it is not possible to describe this animal’s story.

Kurkati, tinka, milpali or sand goannas, live in the sandhills and plains country and have always been an important source of kuka (meat) for Anangu of this area. They are still hunted in the spring and summer time when they have ended their underground hibernation and can easily be tracked across the red sands.

They are also among the most widely carved of animals on the lands. Being such a highly prized food it’s no wonder that close study of its every move for centuries has led to it being so widely carved on the lands in the last few decades.

Tjakura (The great desert skink) is endemic to the Australian arid zone. In the Northern Territory (NT), most recent records (post 1980) come from the western deserts region from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park north to Rabbit Flat in the Tanami Desert. 

Yangi Yangi's family in Kalka, APY Lands SA actively manage and survey the tjakura populations with their IPA (Indigenous Protected Area) Ranger Programs. 


Artist: Yangi Yangi Fox 
Language Group: Pitjantjatjarra 
Location: Kalka, APY Lands South Australia 
Medium: 'Itara' - River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis  
Dimensions (mm): 400 x 40x 50

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