Ngarlajiyi Jukurrpa (Bush Carrot Dreaming)

Ngarlajiyi is a tiny plant found growing on the side of creeks and in sandy soils and commonly called a bush carrot or small yam. It has a small edible tuber resembling a carrot. Its botanical name is Vigna lanceolata. The country associated with this Dreaming is Waputarli or Mount Singleton, to the west of Yuendumu. The design of this painting simbolizes the cycle of growth of ‘ngarlajiyi’, telling how after the rain the plant grows quickly and extensively, spreading out over the country. This design is taken from women’s ceremonial body painting. Napurrurla/Nakamarra women and Jupurrurla/Jakamarra men are the custodians of this Dreaming and the country associated with it. In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. Concentric circles are often used to represent the plants with ‘ngarlajiyi’ fruit, while large concentric circles often represent Yilkirdi, a rockhole in the Waputarli area belonging to the same Dreaming. These large concentric circles can also depict the base of the ‘ngarlajiyi’ plant with its superficial roots extending in the direction of the Dreaming, represented by radiating lines. Clusters depicted in the extreme of these radiating lines usually are portraying the bush carrot ‘jinjila’ (flowers).