Milpirri Banner - KURLPURLURNU
Lajamanu, North Tanami Desert, Northern Territory, Australia.
Ngapa (Rain) at Kurlpurlurnu. The semi cirle with many curved lines represents the fire, the long curved lines are running water, or flood water, the short parallel lines are clouds, the many “c” shapes are people sitting down waiting for the fire.
Belonging to Skin Groups:
Jangala, Jampijinpa, Nangala and Nampijinpa (Blue Group)
Jerry Jangala Patrick in Lajamanu, 2005
Jerry Jikilripa Jangala was born on the 1st of July 1935 at Lirrapuntji on the Lander River north of the Warlpiri community of Willowra. That is his country and he grew up in the bush around there in the traditional way. Jikirrlilypa is Jangala's Granfather’s name as well, and has a special meaning, water dreaming. When the government began to resettle people Jangala's people walked across the Tanami Desert to Willowra. From there they moved to Yuendumu in the early 1940s. Jangala made the journey on foot, while the government moved other people by truck. At that time Yuendumu had bores but there were no houses and all the people from different tribes were together there. Jangala continued to travel through Telegraph Station and Tennant Creek stopping a short while at each place. He went to Newcastle Water and old Wave Hill Station and finally came to Lajamanu around 1948. There were no houses and Jerry Jangala work was clearing to make the settlement and the airstrip. The first buildings were a small clinic and kitchen. Jangala is a respected elder and Pastor in Lajamanu Community. As well as painting Jangala makes wooden items like boomerangs at the Art Centre. Jangala is a prolific teacher, he is one of the original elders of Milpirri, a founder member of the Kurdiji law and justice committee and the key elder and mentor for the Warlpiri ranger program. Jangala is a highly intellectual and philosophical man. He has also been closely involved with numerous academics where his knowledge has helped promote an understanding of Warlpiri culture.
Source: Brits Art and Promotion with additions by Miles Holmes
In Lajamanu speak with Jerry Jangala. (Other Traditional Owners are in Yuendumu and Ali Curung such as Joe Bird Jangala).
The search for Kurlpurlunu:
Kurlpulrunu is a major rain making site for Warlpiri people. Its location was lost for many years. Numerous searches were conducted by various organisations, some extremely extensive involving helicopters, light planes and 4wds. The site remained hidden until 2016 when Molly Tasman Napurrurla led a chopper and film crew to the site.
Ngapa Jukurrapa film:
PAW media from Yuendumu and Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick created a film about Ngapa dreaming. It follows the journey of Steve Jampijinpa Patrick (Jerry Jangala’s son) to discover the secrets of Warlpiri rain making which are in the Dreaming story. This film crew was present when Kurlpurlunu was located.
In April 1996 nine Australian artists journeyed into the centre of Australia, seven were the traditional owners of this country from Lajamanu and two were white artists from Tracks Dance Company. Together with an oral historian from the Northern Territory Archives they followed the 2000 km Ngapa Jukurrpa (the Rainstorm Dreaming) path, a pathway of sacred sites that connect Alice Springs to Darwin. Later that year members of the party regrouped in Darwin to tell their story of the journey though performance. This engrossing, moving and comic performance was divided into two sections. In the first Act the men created a traditional sand painting while the women painted up and danced sacred song cycles related to the Ngapa Jukurrpa. The second act was a re-enactment of the journey.