Thomas Jangala Rice
Thomas Jangala Rice was born in the bush, in 1938 and grew up very traditionally living with his family group near Mt Doreen Station, an extensive cattle breeding station, situated 345 km from Alice Springs and established long before Yuendumu was created. He learned to hunt from his father and still goes out regularly hunting for bush tucker in the country surrounding Yuendumu. He moved to Yuendumu with his two promised wives when he was a young man and has always played an important role in this community. He later married Jeannie Nungarrayi Egan. He first worked as an Indigenous Police Aid and tracker. He also worked for many years with Men’s Night Patrol and at the school teaching children traditional culture and as Janitor. For many years he was on a number of committees including the Yuendumu Council, the local store, Central Land Council (CLC) and also a long serving committee member of the art centre, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu and for whom he has been steadily painting with since 1987. Thomas paints his traditional Jukurrpa stories which are related to his traditional country. These stories were passed down to him by his father and his father’s fathers before him for millennia. Although he has painted many stories, for the past few years he has been painting his Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) which relates directly to Puryurru, an area west of Yuendumu.