Yuparli Jukurrpa (Bush Banana Dreaming)

Yuparli Jukurrpa (Bush Banana Dreaming) – By Nola Napangardi Fisher

The Yuparli Jukurrpa (bush banana [Leichhardtia australis] Dreaming) is the story of a fruit bearing creeper that grows up trees and produces fruit with many fine, winged seeds inside. ‘Yapa’ (Warlpiri people) like to cook them in the coals, particularly the young juicy ones that we call Yangardurrku. ‘Yapa’ also eat the small white flowers and the leaves, which have a delicious nutty taste. One story for this Jukurrpa is of two ancestral ‘karnta’ (women) of the Napangardi and Napanangka skin groups who travelled south from Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs, west of Yuendumu) through country near Karrinyarra (Mount Wedge) to the south and re-emerged at two ‘mulju’ soakages) at Yinjirimardi, west of Yuendumu. They were accompanied by a man of the Japangardi skin group. He would sometimes change himself into a ‘warlawurru’ (wedge-tailed eagle) and fly behind them. Unknown to the Napangardi women, her Japangardi classificatory brother and the Napanangka were lovers. They travelled further north and returned to Pikilyi where they entered the ground, creating the large freshwater springs that are still there today. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. A variety of images and signs are used to depict the various elements of this story.