• Categories:ALL, INDIGENOUS

Wipana was born in the bush at Makiri rockhole (minyma tjala tjukurpa honey ant women’s creation site) in the Western Desert in 1935. Her mother’s country is Watarru and her father’s place is Aparatjara. She grew up at the mission at Ernabella and remembers her school days fondly. “At school we learnt pitjantjatjara, english wiya (no english). All the kids were nikkiti (no clothes). Nagaltutjara (poor things)!” Later she moved to Fregon with her family, where she married and brought up her children. She helped to establish Watarru as a permanent community.

Cultural knowledge is handed down orally in the retelling of the Tjukurpa (traditional stories of the ancestors’ journeys), which not only sustains Anangu (aboriginal people) physically, but socially and spiritually. Tjukurpa painting depicts a fragment of a larger story, a living history where an ancestor was involved in creating a country. Individuals have authority and ownership of this land and the associated sites and stories. The maintenance of this country is paramount to artists of Watarru and they are proudly working with the department of Environment and Heritage SA continue to care and manage the land with respect and responsibility.