Kungkarangkalpa  (The Seven Sisters)

Happy Reid Profile & Artworks

Kungkarangkalpa (The Seven Sisters)

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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.

Kungkarangkalpa is the Tjukurpa of the Seven Sisters, concerning a group of women being pursued by a cunning man called Nyiru who attempts to lure them into marriage with him. He disguises himself in countless ways to trick the sisters, and is sometimes also invisible in paintings. In their escape the sisters travelled through a vast amount of Australia. They stopped to camp, build shelters and hunt for food, thus forming many features of the landscape and embedding the knowledge of survival in it. Eventually they fled into the sky where they became the constellation known as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters. Nyiru still follows them ceaselessly across the night sky as one of the bright stars in the constellation of Orion.



Happy Reid is a long time resident of Mutitjulu Community in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park where she worked until her retirement as a health worker in the local clinic. She continues to enjoy painting as well as carving music sticks, small bowls and animals. She also works as an ‘artist in residence’ for Maruku Arts at the Cultural Centre and is one of Mutitjulu’s most active carvers. As a senior guide with Anangu Tours she taught visitors about her Tjukurpa and traditional culture.


Artist : Happy Reid
Title : Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters)
Born : 1953
Community : Mutitjulu
Language : Pitjantjatjara
Code : G3269
Size : 36 x 36 cm
Medium : Acrylic on Canvas

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