Lungkata (Blue-Tongue Lizard)

Alice Wheeler

Lungkata (Blue-Tongue Lizard)

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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.

Lungkata travelled towards Uluru and camped in a cave high on the western face looking over the cultural centre. He hunted around the base of the rock, where he came upon a wounded kalaya (emu), still dragging a spear from another hunt.  He knew that the wounded bird belonged to other hunters and it would be wrong for someone else to kill it and eat it, yet this was exactly what he did. 

The two panpanpalala (bellbird hunters) who had wounded the kalaya were not far behind. Seeing the smoke from Lungkata’s fire, they came up to him and asked if he had seen their bird. Lungkata lied and told the two hunters that he had seen nothing.   Lungkata left a trail of dropped meat which was easy to follow, and the two panpanpalala caught up with him. The hunters made a huge bonfire under the slow, fat lizard as he struggled upwards to his camp in a cave up high.

He choked on the smoke and rolled down, leaving strips of his burned flesh stuck to the rocks he touched. As his flesh came off, Lungkata got smaller and smaller, until eventually he became a small solitary stone.The smoke and ash from the fire still stain the side of Uluru’s steep slopes above Lungkata’s body.

Details

Artist: Alice wheeler

Title: Lungkata (Blue tongue lizard man)

Size: 30x30 cm

Medium: Acrylic on canvas


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