Paintings depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape.
Collecting mai or edible plants and other desert foods is important work and ritual for women as well as a major theme in paintings. Minyma (senior women) travel their country with their tools: piti, or wooden bowl and wana, digging stick. They are collecting kaliny-kalinypa, or the flowers of the honey grevillea plant.
Kaliny-kalinypa is a special favourite with children and they suck the sweet nectar straight form the long cone shaped flowers. Alternatively the women collect the flowers in bowls and mix them with water to produce a sweet drink.
Coded in the Creation or Law stories is the information needed to hunt and survive and dot paintings are a contemporary way of continuing to celebrate and teach through the Tjukurpa.
Artist: Charmaine Kulitja Title: Kaliny-kalinypa (Honey Grevillea) Size: 30 x 30 cm Medium: Acrylic on canvas