Born Minjilpirrin, Northern Territory, Australia c.1918, died Alice Springs, Northern Territory 2001

Mala Ceremony at Tjikari, 1990

This painting celebrates the mythological ceremonies held at Tjikari, a site far to the west of Alice Springs on the eastern border of traditional Pintupi country. During the creative era, a large group of Mala (Hare Wallaby Men), are known to have gathered at Tjikari for ceremonies. The concentric circles show the ceremonial ground. These ceremonies were held for the purpose of instructing the Maliki (initiated young men) in tribal law. After the completion of the ceremonies ‘Lurnpa’, the Kingfisher Man, who had also attended, flew off to gather pituri for the Mala Men. This is a march without water. However Lurnpa betrayed the Mala Men and as a result of this a large number of them perished.

Text reproduced with permission. © Papunya Tula Artists.

Further reading

Friendly Country – Friendly People