Ngarlkirdi manu Warna Jukurrpa (Witchetty Grub & Snake Dreaming)

This painting tells some of the stories of ancestor women who collected Ngarlkirdi (Witchetty grubs) from the radial roots of the Witchetty Grub bush (Acacia kempeana) near to the Kunajarrayi (Mount Nicker area) to the west of Yuendumu. They placed the grubs in Parraja (food carriers) and would take them to a rockhole for safe keeping as they returned to dig for more. Whilst they were away, the grubs changed into ancestral snakes (Warna) and slithered away. The two snakes were a Japaljarri father and his Jungarrayi son. Then the two of them went under the ground. Men came and looked around, waiting to catch the Warna when they returned to the hole. The men looked around water soakages and rock holes in the late afternoon. This is an important site to which many Jukurrpa paths return. It is a men’s Jukurrpa site and the women associated with this Jukurrpa cannot eat Warna. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. Sinuous lines often indicate the slithering movements of the snakes, the snakes themselves, and the ancestral path of the Jukurrpa snakes. This story belongs to the Nungarrayi/Jungarrayi and Napaljarri/Japaljarri subsections.