Browse by

Browse by art centre

Monique La Fontaine

Majarrka juju

Story:Majarrka is the name of a sacred ceremonial totem carved from the riymangurru tree. Riymangurru trees grow near Paruku [Lake Gregory] and around Yunpu. They are a hardwood used to make weapons and digging sticks. Majarrka is part of the law and Dreaming associated with the riymangurru tree and it has its own song and ceremony. The contemporary story performed in Majarrka juju [song and dance] has evolved out of this traditional ceremony but is based on a true event. It tells the story of two law bosses, Ned Cox’s father’s father, Wurtuwaya, and Tom Lawford’s mother’s grandfather, Wirrali, both of whom are now deceased. Wurtuwaya and Wirrali were travelling around near Paruku as wanya [‘featherfoot’, sorcerers wielding a similar power to maparn but whose work is concerned with payback rather than healing]. They were looking for their sacred Majarrka totem, which had been stolen from Jarrkurti, a place not far from Jalyirr and Yunpu, by a group of men who were performing their own ceremony with it. The men were dancing with the totem when Wurtuwaya and Wirrali found them. The two men were hiding as wanya as they watched the men perform. When the men turned their backs, the two bosses snuck in and retrieved the Majarrka totem. In Majarrka juju the dancers who wear the long headdresses (pukurti) represent the men who stole the Majarrka totem. The two dancers with the flat-topped headdresses (kumunungku) represent the bosses, Wurtuwaya and old Wirrali. 'I want to tell a story about this little stick, this one, kana [digging stick]. Long time ago kartiya [white people] been digging with [iron] bar, long way down, might be 200 feet [to make the Canning Stock Route wells]. Kana, kuturu [large hitting stick used for fighting] and makura [deep coolamon or wooden dish used for carrying water], all to get water in my language. 'This tree and me we been born in the same Country, the one Country. He’s got a meaning this tree. This is the tree now, the meaning. He got the culture, Majarrka. Riymangurru tree from Lake Gregory. That’s the tree, that Majarrka.' (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, 2007) In this story Yanpiyarti Ned Cox draws a parallel between the sinking of the Canning Stock Route wells and the digging out of waterholes. The traditional hardwood tools and coolamons used to dig and scoop out mud are often made from trees that have important laws and ceremonies associated with them, as is also the case with Majarrka.

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Paruku (Lake Gregory), Ngumpan

Media Description:Majarrka dancers get dressed and painted up at Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0002

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Kurtal

Story:Before Kurtal turned into an ancestral snake being and entered the 'living water' or permanent spring that bears his name, he was a man. In the words of Kurtal boss Ngilpirr Spider Snell: 'A big rain came. After the rain, grasses started to grow. From the grass Kurtal turned into a man.'

'Kurtal travelled to Jintirripil, a jila near the sea, who asked him to stay for good. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed. Jintirripil told Kurtal to find the jila Paliyarra, who had stolen his sacred objects.

'Paliyarra knew that Kurtal had come to steal back Jintirripil’s objects. He told Kurtal he didn’t have them but Kurtal could see the lightning flashing inside him. Paliyarra set his dogs onto Kurtal. Badly bitten, Kurtal tripped over Paliyarra, who spilled the objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his jila.

'Kurtal stole more objects from other jila, then went to visit his friend Kaningarra. Kaningarra asked Kurtal to stay with him there forever. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed, saying, "You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.” Kaningarra went into the ground, turning into a snake, and Kurtal took off for his country.

'Getting weak, Kurtal crawled inside his waterhole with all his stolen objects and turned into a snake.

'That’s the song "Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla" we sing. He sent up a kutukutu [rain bearing cloud] like the ones I made at Kurtal.'

This is Kurtal's song:

'In the north-west I saw leaping fish sparkling in the sunlight. Carrying the sacred object I wade through the water. The waves carry me down to the depths. In the north-west I saw a seagull. The seagull was speaking. I saw lightning flickering in the north; I was the rain cloud. I am Kurtal. I bring the meat and make the country fruitful. The wind is wild, the lightning flickers in the sky. Up there Kaningarra is crying. The wind roars. I am Kaningarra, the great rock. Look to the south. That flat ground is sloping now. Who is that coming after me? I am a maparn [magic man] but I’m losing my powers. Look to the west. See his headdress.' (Ngilpirr Spider Snell)

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kurtal

Media Description:Kids all ready to perform Kurtal. Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Karen Dayman, Monique La Fontaine, Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0001

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Nyarna, Lake Stretch, 2007

Location: Nyarna Lake Stretch

Date: 8/16/2007

Event Description: In July and August 2007, around 60 artists from seven art centres travelled along the stock route documenting their stories and painting their Country in workshops held along the route. The last of these was at Nyarna, Lake Stretch, near Billiluna. Many new artworks were produced at Nyarna and the first Canning Stock Route 'exhibition' was held here on the shores of the Lake. A number of dances were also performed as part of the final celebrations at the culmination of this trip.



People: Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Media Description: Artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Rights: Photo by Tim Acker

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Wirnpa

Story:Wirnpa the proper boss. Rich. Too many money. Kartiya [white people] can’t get that. We got snake, jila. Can’t touch.' (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2007) Wirnpa was one of the most powerful of the jila men and the last to travel the desert before entering the jila, which bears his name, becoming a snake. Wirnpa’s adventures are celebrated in songs and stories of many language groups. Today, many of these people worry about proposals to mine the country around Wirnpa. Wirnpa was a rainmaker and the last of the jila men to walk around the desert in the Jukurrpa (the Dreamtime). After travelling far from his home, Wirnpa came back to search for his many children only to discover that they had already died. They had laid down and turned into the waterholes of the Percival Lakes. Wirnpa wept for his children and then turned into a snake and entered the waterhole that bears his name. Aboriginal people from language groups across the Western Desert know Wirnpa jila, even if they’ve never been there. The jila lies in Yulparija Country, but as a man Wirnpa travelled such great distances that the songlines which describe his journeys connect him to many groups. As an ancestral hero, Wirnpa is the keeper of different laws and ceremonies, and Aboriginal people from multiple language groups consider the place where he rests a sacred site. Jila like Wirnpa are formidable places, which can be dangerous if they are not approached properly. Aboriginal people enter jila sites ritually, sweeping the ground with branches, and approaching in single file. Elders call out to Wirnpa, announcing their arrival and introducing people who are new to the jila. For many senior people the experience of returning to their Country is highly emotional. 'Jila might make kartiya sick, make a big wind. We been tell him, “Don’t get wild, we all one family for you.”' (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2009) When the people who belonged to Wirnpa left the desert, some went north and eventually settled at Balgo, Mulan, Fitzroy Crossing, Wangkatjungka, Looma, Broome and Bidyadanga. Others went south and settled at Jigalong, Newman, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji. Others still went east to Yuendumu and Papunya. Until recently, some of these people had never had the chance to return to their Country but today many people are taking their children and grandchildren to see Wirnpa for the first time. The songlines that pass through Wirnpa travel underground, imbuing the Country with power. The responsibility for these songs, and for the Country itself, is passed down from one generation to the next. Aboriginal people belong to the Country and are its caretakers; when they die, their spirit returns to their Country.

Media Creator:Curtis Taylor

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Wirnpa

Media Description:Martu elders bring their grandchildren to Wirnpa for the first time in 2009.

Story contributor(s):Jawarta Donald Moko, Monique La Fontaine

Art Centre(s): Yulparija Artists, Martumili Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:DATE_FORM_MIRA_B0098_0002

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Jila Men

Story:The nothern end of the Canning Stock Route crosses the Great Sandy Desert. Here springs are considered 'living waters' and are known as jila. Some are inhabited by ancestral beings and many of these jila are linked by Dreaming tracks that connect Countries and people. The ancestral stories of these sites are recorded in the songs and dances that cross the desert, uniting peoples through shared ceremonies and law. A number of these jila became wells on the Canning Stock Route. Of around 200 permanent springs or jila in this country, only about 30 are inhabited by powerful ancestral beings: snakes, which are also known as jila, or kalpurtu. Two of these jila, Kulyayi (Well 42) and Kaningarra (Well 48), became stock route wells. Before they became snakes, these jila were men who made rain, shaped the features of the land and introduced practices of law to the jila country. Many of the jila men were also companions who travelled the desert visiting one another, creating the ceremonies and singing the songs that the people of the jila country still perform today. One by one, the jila men ended their journeys at the waters that bear their names, and as they entered their jila, they transformed into the rainbow serpents, kalpurtu. These sites are of great importance to Aboriginal people and they can be as dangerous as they are vital. As places where rain is made, jila must first be ceremonially cleaned out by men. Crescent shaped banks are fashioned around the edge of the jila to signify kutukutu [rain-bearing clouds] before women are invited to approach. The dreaming stories of the jila men Kulyayi and Kaningarra are also connected to those of Kurtal and Wirnpa, two other important jila in this Country.

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010

Media Description:Four dances are performed at the Ngumpan workshop, which took place at Ngumpan Community east of Fitzroy Crossing in late 2008.

Story contributor(s):Monique La Fontaine, Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Art Centre(s): Other
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:DATE_FORM_MIRA_B0098_0001

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

The CSR team and sponsors

The CSR team and sponsors; Carly Davenport, Chris Cottier, Monique La Fontaine, and Richard O'Connell. Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Date: 8/16/2007 16:12:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -18.227/127.668

People: Carly Davenport, Chris Cottier, Monique La Fontaine, Richard O'Connell
Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 9.1 Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-18 August 07
Accession ID: 20131008_FORM_MIRA_B0011_0082

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

People looking at the paintings laid out at Lake Stretch

People looking at the artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Date: 8/16/2007 16:00:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -18.227/127.668

People: Monique La Fontaine, Jamiya Chamia Samuels, Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday, Mikarri Shirley Brown, Kampirr Veronica Lulu, Elizabeth Nyumi
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Papunya Tula Artists, Paruku Indigenous Protected Area, CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 9.1 Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-18 August 07
Accession ID: 20131008_FORM_MIRA_B0011_0063

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

People beside the paintings laid out at Lake Stretch

People beside the artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Date: 8/16/2007 16:08:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -18.227/127.668

People: Richard Yugumbari (Yukenbarri) Tjakamarra, Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Kampirr Veronica Lulu, Bill Doonday, Nankatji Josephine Nangala, Jamiya Chamia Samuels, Ngarralja Tommy May, Wijiji Anna Johns, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Monique La Fontaine, WWuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Papunya Tula Artists, Paruku Indigenous Protected Area, CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 9.1 Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-18 August 07
Accession ID: 20131008_FORM_MIRA_B0011_0075

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

The CSR team and sponsors

The CSR team and sponsors; Carly Davenport, Chris Cottier, Monique La Fontaine, and Richard O'Connell. Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Date: 8/16/2007 16:12:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -18.227/127.668

People: Carly Davenport, Chris Cottier, Monique La Fontaine, Richard O'Connell
Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 9.1 Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-18 August 07
Accession ID: 20131008_FORM_MIRA_B0011_0083

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

People beside the paintings laid out at Lake Stretch

Peoplebeside the artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Date: 8/16/2007 16:06:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -18.227/127.668

People: Richard Yugumbari (Yukenbarri) Tjakamarra, Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Kampirr Veronica Lulu, Bill Doonday, Nankatji Josephine Nangala, Jamiya Chamia Samuels, Ngarralja Tommy May, Wijiji Anna Johns, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Monique La Fontaine, WWuntupayi Jane Gimme
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Papunya Tula Artists, Paruku Indigenous Protected Area, CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 9.1 Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-18 August 07
Accession ID: 20131008_FORM_MIRA_B0011_0074

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Monique La Fontaine