This carving describes Tjukurpa related to Tjilkamata, the Echidna from country around Kaltukatjara or Docker River in the south west corner of the Northern Territory. It involves kin and country and a ritual spearing but the details belong to the custodians.
Also known as tjirilya or spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus), it is an animal unique to Australia. Covered in sharp spikes, in the desert country it lives in rocky habitats and is considered a favourite food by many Anangu.
For Anangu survival depends on understanding Tjukurpa and how it provides a code to read the both the physical and social environments. Carvings such as this one are a contemporary way of continuing to celebrate and teach through the Tjukurpa.
Artist: Pauline Allen Size: 210x150x52cm Medium: 'Itara'- River Red Gum root, Eucalyptus camaldulensis