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 of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians and it is not always possible to describe the stories involved.
Although the majority of animals carved on the lands are lizards some Anangu have increasingly specialised in stylisedtjulpu tjutaor birds. All desert inhabitants, they range in size and species from the tiniestnyii-nyiior zebra finch to largewalawuru, the wedge tail eagle. Other desert birds include:
kaanka, or crow, named for the sound of its call: ‘kaan kaan kaan’; pititjaku-pititjakuor pied butcherbird, a black and white bird native to Australia which has a beautifully melodic voice; kurparuor Australian magpie, another black and white native song bird; tjintir-tjintirpaor Willie wagtail, a small, black, white-breasted bird with a long, fanlike tail;and kiparaor bush turkey, hunted for its delicious meat.
Long necked carvings are usually rarer depictions of the itinerant waterbirds which can be seen in desert country after rains
Artist: Sylvana Kenny Language Group: Pitjantjatjarra Location: Pukatja (Ernabella) APY Lands, SA Medium: 'Itara' - River Red Gum root, Eucalyptus camaldulensis dimensions (mm): L185 x 141 x 67mm weight: 0.350kg