36 AM 8422/12
Alma Nungarrayi Granites Yanjirlpirri/Napaljarri-Warnu Star & Seven Sisters 2010
Acrylic on Belgian linen 1520 x 1220mm SOLD
The Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa (seven sisters Dreaming) depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are
found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Pleiades.
The Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the
Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey [Ardeotis australias]) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who
represents the Orion's Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the
seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In a final attempt to escape from the
Jakamarra the Napaljarri-warnu turned themselves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars. The custodians of
the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. Some parts of the
Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are closely associated with men’s sacred ceremonies;
Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming) This ceremony tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men who travelled from
Kurlurngalinypa (near Lajamanu) to Yanjirlypirri (west of Yuendumu) and then on to Lake Mackay on the West Australian
border. Along the way they performed ‘kurdiji’ (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Women also danced for the ‘kurdiji’.
The site depicted in this canvas is Yanjirlypiri (star) where there is a low hill and a water soakage. The importance of this
place cannot be overemphasized as young boys are brought here to be initiated from as far as Pitjanjatjara country to the
south and Lajamanu to the north.
In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other
elements. Often depicted in paintings for this Jukurrpa is the female star Yantarlarangi (Venus - the Evening Star) who
chases the seven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her.