Contemporary carvings byAnangu(Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known aspunu, hand carved and decorated withwalka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with theTjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians and it is not always possible to describe the stories involved.
Although the majority of animals carved on the lands are lizards some Anangu have increasingly specialised in stylisedtjulpu tjutaor birds. All desert inhabitants, they range in size and species from the tiniestnyii-nyiior zebra finch to largewalawuru, the wedge tail eagle. Other desert birds include:
kaanka, or crow, named for the sound of its call: ‘kaan kaan kaan’; pititjaku-pititjakuor pied butcherbird, a black and white bird native to Australia which has a beautifully melodic voice; kurparuor Australian magpie, another black and white native song bird; tjintir-tjintirpaor Willie wagtail, a small, black, white-breasted bird with a long, fanlike tail;and kiparaor bush turkey, hunted for its delicious meat.
Angkaliya has used the raw form of the desert wood to create her two birds and their nest.
Artist: Angkalia Nelson Language Group: Pitjantjatjarra Location: Pipalyatjarra, APY Lands South Australia Medium: hot wire etching on carving - 'Murrmurrpa' - Desert Bloodwood, Corymbia opaca Dimensions (mm): 252 x 146 x 186mm Weight: 2kg