Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mirrka = food
Marlu wipu = kangaroo tail (to eat)
Waru = fire
Warta = tree
Tjanpi = grass
Kapi = water
Yilkari = sky
Bira = moon
Ngirrnga = morning star (Venus , Innana )
Yewah = yes
Careful writings were made to absorb a growing list.
The original plans which were more or less in consideration changed on our arrival so we quickly reappraised the current situation and fitted in as best we could. (One needs to be flexible when distances are considerable)
By day three of our plan we were camped with a group of anangu (people) some distance from the community. (40kms)
The Anangu had commitments which needed their time so we, the visitors got straight into doing what we are best at.. making art in the bush.
We had wood, water and plenty of leaf material along with any amount of wool, silk and found objects (bones).
On the first afternoon we walked over to the women’s camp and enjoyed a meeting. Underfoot was pure red sand with spinifex, cotton bush, quartz flakes and by now remnants of tail bones from the many cooked tails which had been eaten. Story telling wires were scattered here and there, as story telling was part of the camp purpose. So much energy imbibed in a length of fencing wire bent at one end.
The following day Lala and Carole visited our camp for a cup of tea , curious as to what we were doing. By now the plant dyes were developing strong colours. Lala told Holly that mirrpa, a gall that grows on a eucalypt and is a major food source contains dye colour in its outer skin.
Because of the weather we were able to continue our activities into the night. Dead mulga branches were abundant so it was a treat to sit around and wrap, bind, stitch and look at the night sky.
We watched the evening and morning stars, the Seven Sisters, the moon, the milky way, the Southern Cross. It was a world above our heads… mungangka the night sky.
Long before we even left to journey to meet the women we had thought the making of string was away to connect us all. Sujora took lengths of string we had made to the women some months back and they responded.
So stringmaking beneath the stars was both an ancient and contemporary occupation.
On the third day we did the collaborative drawing …..

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