Maku inmaku pakani
acrylic on Belgian linen
198 x 198 cm
© The artist and Mimili Maku
Ngupulya often paints about the Maku Tjukurpa (Witchetty Grub Songline), a significant story associated with the Mimili area:
The Maku Tjukurpa is a story about mai (food), a women’s Tjukurpa. The minyma (women) would go to the kapi tjukurla (water hole) on top of the rocks at Antara. They would roll rocks from the top of the apu down the mountain. Then, the minyma would clean out the rockhole and wait for the rain to come.
When the waterhole was full with water they would tap on the water’s surface with a stick and sing inma and paluni inmaku pakani (dance ceremony). They would then dig under the Maku tree (witchetty bush) and would find Maku tjuta (enough Maku for everyone).
Born: 1948 Mimili community SA
Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara language groups
Art Centre: Mimili Maku, Mimili SA
Ngupulya Pumani is a senior Anangu woman who is committed to fostering traditional law and culture through her painting. She was born at Mimili in 1948. Her mother is the late artist Kunmanara (Milatjari) Pumani whose country is Antara, west of Mimili. Her father was Sam Pumani and his country is near Watarru.
Ngupulya is recognised as a significant member of the community, having recently retired as the Anangu School Principal, a position she held for over thirty years. Ngupulya paints at Mimili Maku art centre along with her sister Betty Kuntiwa Pumani.