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Yalka at Karinyarra by Sandra Turner


This is the story of the Napaltjarri women digging for yalka (bush onion) in Karinyarra (Mount Wedge) country. Karinyarra is a two-hour drive from Haasts Bluff and is the country of Japaltjarri men and Napaltjiarri women. The circle shapes depict the women digging for bush onion, the hills are the curved lines and the rivers are the lines. There are camels walking around in this country. Bush onion is used for eating and for making a drinking bush medicine. There is bush onion growing all year round, one can find them around the rockholes. The yalka is harvested by using a stick and digging it into the ground to make it soft, then the yalka can be taken out by hand.

“This is my grandfather’s Dreaming. He is my mother’s father and this Dreaming is from her line. Here, women are digging for bush onion around the river in Karinyarra – north of Papunya. The lines in my paintings show the rivers. The circular shapes are the woman digging for the bush onion around the rockholes.”