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11 - 18 December, 2018

These are land rights paintings. I’m making these paintings and writing in Pitjantjatjara – so people can see, and they can know; our Tjukurpa
(law and culture) and our manta (land) are still strong, nganampa wangka (our language) is still alive.

I was there at the Land Rights meeting at Itjinbiri (in 1981) when they signed the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act. We were proud and happy to get our land back, but we always know that there’s walawuru nyanganyi (an eagle watching over) - and that eagle is government, the eagle is mining, the eagle is anything that tries to take that land and Tjukurpa away again.

Painting on Australia Post mailbags is about ownership. Government always want to say that something belongs to them, ‘it belongs to the Commonwealth, we’re the owner’ but I’m saying ‘wiya (no), this belongs to Anangu, to the traditional owners’.

For many years I have worked with and alongside two other tjilpi (senior men), my friends Sammy Dodd and Kunmanara Martin. Sammy Dodd -
he made the kulata (spears) using the proper irititja (traditional) way. The kulata stands for strong men’s culture, and protecting our manta, guarding the Tjukurpa. Kunmanara Martin is painting his mother’s country, Piltati, near Nyapari and the Wanampi (watersnake) Tjukurpa from there. We’re all passing on what we know, to our children and grandchildren, and for malatja-malatja tjuta (future generations). Because the Tjukurpa is always there, it’s always in the manta. After us tjilpis are finished, the Tjukurpa is still there - kunpu titutjara (always strong).


Mumu Mike Williams

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