acrylic on Belgian linen
91 x 91 cm
Courtesy Ninuku Arts, Kalka & Art Mob, Hobart
© The artist and Ninuku Arts
For this painting, Yaritji describes the Tjukurpa relating to her birthplace:
This is a creation story about an ancestral figure known as Wati Wanampi (Male Water Snake), who lived at a waterhole site known as Malara. The Wanampi gathered a group of men together to go out hunting for kuka (meat). While they were out looking for meat, another group of male water snakes known as the Wal Mala (an army of soldier snakes who came from a place called Mutitjulu) recruited them into their army. The group joined forces and travelled to a site known as Kuntjanu, where they engaged in a battle with Wati Tjakura (an edible skink lizard). They speared Wati Tjakura and killed him. The group then returned to Malara, where they rest today at the waterhole.
Kunmanara (Yaritji) Connelly
Born:1946 Malara Rockhole
Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Ninuku Arts, Kalka
Yaritji Connelly is a senior woman, born in the bush at Malara Rockhole, the place of Wanampi Tjurkurpa (Watersnake Creation Story). As a young girl she walked to Warburton mission in Western Australia where she spent some time at school. Yaritji was a highly respected Cultural woman and an active member of inma (ceremony).
Yaritji is an active member of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers project since basket-making skills were first introduced by Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara (NPY) Womens' Council in 1995. She was among the first weavers to utilise coloured raffia for binding grass coils and was well known for producing large baskets of exceptionally fine quality. She was one of the founding Directors of Ninuku Arts Centre at Kalka and has been instrumental in its success and strong governance.