Nguru Yurntumu-wana (Country around Yuendumu)

This painting depicts the natural landscape around Yuendumu. The bush around Yuendumu features plenty of ‘watiya’ (trees), ‘marna’ (grass), ‘kuyu’ (animals) to hunt, and ‘miyi’ (edible plants) to gather.

There are a number of beautiful natural features close to Yuendumu, including rocky hills, creeks, soakages, and waterholes. There are also a number of small outstations around Yuendumu. These include Yuwali (Bean Tree), Wakurlpa, Purturlu (Mt. Theo), Jirla (Chilla Well), Yarripirlangu, Wayililinpa, and many more.

There are many sites around Yuendumu that are associated with different ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreamings). These sites include a major ‘yunkaranyi Jukurrpa’ (honey ant Dreaming), which travels from the west to the east. Yuendumu is sometimes also called ‘yurrampi’ (honey ant) for this reason.

A very big ‘ngapa Jukurrpa’ (water Dreaming) travels past Yuendumu from the south far to the north. This Jukurrpa stops at Warlura, a waterhole 8 miles east of Yuendumu, and at Jukajuka, an important rock formation. ‘Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa’ (fire country Dreaming) lies to the west of Yuendumu, on the way to Nyirrpi. You can see the ‘warlu’ (fire) in the form of hundreds of red ‘mingkirri’ (termite mounds) that rise out of the ground in this area.

Other Jukurrpa around Yuendumu include a ‘janganpa Jukurrpa’ (brush-tailed possum [Tricosurus vulpecula] Dreaming) associated with the hills to the north, and a ‘yankirri Jukurrpa’ (emu [Dromaius novaehollandiae ] Dreaming) associated with Ngarlikirlangu, a rock formation to the north. A ‘warlawurru Jukurrpa’ (wedge-tailed eagle [Aquila audax] Dreaming) is associated with the Wakurlpa outstation and hills. A very big ‘warna Jukurrpa’ (snake Dreaming) passes through Mijirlparnta (Mission Creek), west of Yuendumu. This Jukurrpa tells the story of a blind and crippled python, Yarripiri, who was carried by the ‘kurdungurlu’ (custodians) of the Jukurrpa from the south to the far north. This Jukurrpa is associated with the important Jardiwarnpa conflict resolution ceremony.

All the sites around Yuendumu are owned and cared for by different skin subsections and are associated with different Jukurrpa. Some people are ‘kirda’ (owners) of the Jukurrpa, and others are ‘kurdungurlu’ (custodians).

In Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography can be used to represent the landscape around the area, the Jukurrpa, and other elements. Paintings of Jukurrpa around Yuendumu can include emu tracks, possum tracks, or eagle tracks. Wavy lines are frequently used to represent water or fire, and concentric circles can represent waterholes or camps.