Yarla Jukurrpa

by artist
Amanda Curtis

This Yarla Jukurrpa belongs to men of the Japaljarri/Jungarrayi subsections and to Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. It comes from an area to the east of Yuendumu called Cockatoo Creek. ‘Yarla’ (bush potato [Ipomea costata]) are fibrous tubers that grow beneath a low spreading plant, found by looking for cracks in the ground. This edible tuber grows from ‘yartura’ (roots) which seek out moisture to spout new plants. Yarla are good to eat, when cooked they are really soft and tasty. The Jukurrpa tells of ‘yarla’ and ‘wapirti’ (bush carrot [Vigna lanceolata]) ancestors fighting a big battle in this area. The specific site associated with this painting is a ‘mulju’ (water soakage) called Ngarparapunyu. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. The curved lines of the ‘kuruwarri’ (ceremonial designs) represent the ‘ngamarna’ (vine-like tendrils) from which grow ‘jinjirla’ (flowers). ‘Karlangu’ (digging sticks) are usually represented as strait lines. ‘Karlangu’are used by women to dig for bush tucker like Yarla and Wapirti which are found underground.