Door 26 – Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming)

The story depicted in this painting is about a snake ancestor named Yarripiri (a python species) that travelled from Winparrku, south west of Papunya, to a big creek called Kampalypa. Next he travelled to sites at Wakurrumpu and then onto Yuwajikilyimi and to a big swamp called Karturnu. ‘Yarripiri’ travelled north performing the Jardiwarnpa ceremony, which is a ceremony of reconciliation and retribution eagerly awaited by Warlpiri people. Yarripiri was very sad as his family had left him behind at Wirnparrku. He was blind and crippled but he was determined to follow and search them out. He had to be carried. This was the job undertaken by the ‘kurdungurlu’ (ceremonial police) of the Dreaming: the Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. The ‘kirda’ (custodians) for this Jardiwanpa Jukurrpa (ancestral snake Dreaming) are Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. In traditional Warlpiri iconography a number of symbols are used to represent this Jukurrpa. In this painting the wavy line depicts Yarripiri (python). The straight lines often represent ‘witi’, which are tall and vertically mounted ceremonial poles or karlangu (digging sticks). Also shown in the painting are mulju (soakages) represented by concentric circles and karnta (woman) represented by ‘U’ shapes.