Anangu (Central & Western Desert Aboriginal people) live by the Laws laid down in the Tjukurpa or Creation Period. Coded in the stories of the ancestors or original beings, are guidelines for life, and painting is a way of both celebrating and imparting this vital 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. Concentric circles mark the actions of the ancestors during the creation period. As they hunted, travelled and adventured along the way they formed many aspects of the landscape. They left behind information still used today about the important rituals and work of women.
A woman thinks and paints Tjukurpa. Listen to the story: Women understand the ways of their culture from their grandmothers’ teachings and work to keep these strong. This isn’t the business of men. Women act according to Women’s Law. They hold a vast number of important teachings: to do with food; family; celebrations and education. They have strong culture. Senior Pitjantjatjara women.