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.
Knowing where, how and when to collect foods involves important work and ritual for minyma, or senior women. Maku, the succulent witchetty grub, is one of the most highly sought foods today. It is found in the roots of an Acacia tree known as the Witchetty Bush and a minyma will use a number of techniques to identify a tree with living grubs in it before starting to dig. Traditionally using a wana or mulga wood stick with a wira, a small wooden bowl, nowadays the tools are an iron crow bar and a short handled shovel. Once the root has been broken open to reveal the maku it can either be eaten raw or lightly roasted on coals.
Artist : Monica Taylor Title : Maku (Witchetty Grubs) Code : G4737 Size : 17 x 60 cm Medium : Acrylic on canvas