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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'Marapinti' by Josephine Nangala, 2008


'Marapinti' by Josephine Nangala, 2008

Object information


Marapinti is a rock hole west of Kiwirrkurra, and the easternmost point on the Seven Sisters' journey across Martu Country. As they travelled, singing and dancing towards Pintupi Country, the Minyipuru created waters and landforms. On reaching Marapinti, they pierced their noses, a practice known as marapinti. Today the Minyipuru can be seen there as a group of rocks, sitting up like women.

Physical description

An acrylic painting on brown linen of concentric cream dotted circles, mostly in rows, surrounded by pink dotted lines following their outlines, on a red background, with a black border. On the long edges of the canvas are 'Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd 91 x 61cm' and 'Josephine Nangala'. Along one short side is 'JN0808173'. The back of the canvas has a stamp with text which reads 'Cat # 223 / form. / The / Canning / Stock / Route / Project'.

Statement of significance

The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Object information

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