Mukaki Jukurrpa (Wild Plum Dreaming)

The Mukaki Jukurrpa (wild plum [Santalum lanceolatum] Dreaming) tells of the journey of a group of heroic ‘mukaki’ ancestors from Wirlki to Yiwinji. Another place, Watungurra, near Nyirrpi and about 160 km south-west from Yuendumu is also associated with this story. The site painted in this story belongs to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men and Napurrurla/Nakamarra women. ‘Mukaki’ (wild plum fruit) are picked when they have been dried by the sun. They can then be ground with added water to make a paste. Traditionally women would gather ‘mukaki’ and squeeze the juice into food carriers to drink. The ripe black plums would also be used as paint, for body decoration and ground painting. In the past people would apply the juice to their skin to make themselves darker. The ‘mukaki’ are also eaten by the possums. In paintings of this Dreaming, often concentric circles are used to represent the trees themselves (‘watiya’) while curved lines are usually used to depict the root (‘yartura’) and clusters of small circles can portrait the flowers (‘jinjirla’). Normally unripe ‘mukaki’ are painted as green.