Jungunpa Jukurrpa (Spinifex Hopping Mouse Dreaming)

The Jungunpa Jukurrpa (spinifex hopping-mouse [Notornis alexis] Dreaming) plays an important part in higher-level initiation ceremonies for Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men. ‘Jungunpa’ makes holes everywhere and some form long tunnels. They are nocturnal animals. This Dreaming tells the story of ‘jungunpa’ ancestors who travelled from Kunajarrayi to Jila (Chilla Well) and then went underground to Junti. At Junti they looked around for food and after hunting there they went underground again and travelled south-west to Junginyi. Later they returned to Junti. This story is part of higher initiation ceremonies for Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. Often concentric circles are used to represent ‘mulju’ (water soakages), and wavy lines portray the ‘ngirnti’ (tail tracks) of the Jungunpa flanked by his ‘wirliya’ (footprints). Larger roundels can be used to depict the underground home of the Jungunpa and arc-shaped figures represent men lying down in the warmth of the late afternoon after hunting.