Contemporary carvings byAnangu(Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known aspunu, hand carved and decorated withwalka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with theTjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians and it is not possible to describe this animal’s story.
Kurkati,tinka, milpalior sand goannas, live in the sandhills and plains country andhave always been an important source ofkuka(meat) for Anangu of this area. They are still hunted in the spring and summer time when they have ended their underground hibernation and can easily be tracked across the red sands.
They are also among the most widely carved of animals on the lands. Being such a highly prized food it’s no wonder that close study of its every move for centuries has led to it being so widely carved on the lands in the last few decades.
Artist: Donna Porter
Language group: Ngaanyatjarra
Location: Warburton, Ngaanyatjarra Lands, WA
medium: 'itara' - River red gum root, Eucalyptus camaldulensis