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Kaapa Tjampitjimpa

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Painting by Kaapa Tjampitjimpa
120 x 75 cm, 1970's. ID:Kaapa01

Kaapa Tjampitjimpa
Kaapa Tjampitjimpa

Artist: Kaapa Tjampitjimpa

Language Group: Anmatyerre

Home: Papunya

Country of Story: Irrilyilyi

Date of Birth: 1920 - 1989

Price: POA

In mythological times two men came to the soakage site Irrilyilyi approximately 350 km N.W. of Alice Springs, and sat down to dig for Yala, or 'Bush Potato'. The men found a group of plants and prodded the ground, searching for cracks that indicate the presence of mature tubers. The men were of the Tjampajimpa and Tjangala subsections respectively (this indicates a Father-son relationship). After collecting and eating the Yala the Tjangala and Tjampajimpa painted their bodies and and created large head-dresses of sticks and hairstring, decorated with chopped native daisies and pigment. They then held a ceremony to celebrate their camp at Irrilyilyi. After its completion the men continued to Walukulong to the north.

Irrilyilyi is located close to Watlypunya, a key site on the trail of Yala Ancestors, and it is because of the proximity to this growth centre for the vegetable that the men were successful in finding the plants.

The Yala tuber is important to desert dwelling Aboriginals as it retains its moisture throughout periods when water is scarce.

The meaning of the decorative elements of this depiction is indicated in the above diagram. All background dots refer to the bush fruit Kamperapa that flourished in the area after a mythological bush fire had passed over the country.

(This description of the artwork is from the certificate of authenticity which is provided with the painting, issued by Papunya Tula in 1978.)

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