Jarlji Jukurrpa (Frog Dreaming) and Pingkirri Jukurrpa (Meat Ant Dreaming)

This painting tells the story of the Jarlji Jukurrpa (frog Dreaming) from Jarljikirlangu, a place to the west of Mt. Denison. Jarljikirlangu means ‘belonging to frog’. This place belongs to Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. Jarljikurlangu is a large creek that is dry for most of the year. When it rains it becomes like a swamp, a big water course. The ‘jarlji’ (frog) burrow underground and hibernate during the dry season until the rainy season comes, so the ‘jarlji’ come out of the ground and sit down there. After the rain the ‘jarlji’ frogs croak at night. Women dig for them to cook and then eat them. Frogs can be a very important food source in dry years as they can be found lying together in the soft, moist soil found along many dry watercourses in central Australia.

The Pingkirri Jukurrpa (Meat Ant Dreaming) starts at a place called ‘Pingkirri’ (which means ‘the home of ants’). One Dreamtime ‘yardijiinypa’ (meat ant) in human form walked to the Ngarlikurlangu area. He stopped beside a ‘yukarrli’ (ironwood tree) near Wanya, where he saw a ‘yankirri’ (emu) nesting his eggs. The ‘yarrijiinypa’ man went back to get his friends and ask them if they should go and hunt the emu in the shape of men or ants. It was decided that the emu was too smart and and would see them if they came in human guise. So they went in ant form, quickly and in great numbers. They jumped on the ‘yankirri’ and bit him all over, while he was on the nest. They ate the ‘yankirri’ up completely, starting with the eyes. They left only the ‘yungunu’ (bones). The Yardijiinypa Jurkurpa belongs to Nungarrayi/Napaljarri women and Jungarrayi/Japaljarri men. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. ‘Yardijiinypa’ are represented here as ‘U’ shapes and the circle represents ‘pingkirri’ (ant nests) to the north of Yuendumu.