Sylvaria Walker's - Red Mallee Flower Dreaming
Size: 30cm x 30cm
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
The Jitilypurtu Jukurrpa (Red Malle Flower Dreaming) belongs to the Alyawarra, Anmatyerr, Eastern Arrente, Pintupi and Warlpiri people. Red Mallee, (Eucalyptus pachyphylla). Belonging to the Myrtaceae Family, grow with spinifex on sand plains or in shallow limestone. It grows up to 4-6m high and produces masses of creamy yellow flowers which are a source of much of the honey produced in inland regions. When walking near a red mallee laden with flowers you can smell the honey as you walk by. In very dry times Aboriginal people harvested water from the roots of this species. The seeds of this plant are also said to be eaten by Pintupi and an edible lerp scale sometimes found on the leaves is considered to be sweeter and better than that found on any other gum. The large nuts are often used for ornamental purposes and by children for spinning tops. The Red Mallee Flower Dreaming is also related to honey dreaming. The bees take the honey from the flower to a tree and make 'sugar bags'. Ancestors have been eating the honey for a very long time. People still go out on long walks looking for 'sugar bags'. They chop the branches down and put the 'sugar bags' into a billy can. The Red Mallee is a tolerant tree and new shoots quickly sprout when branches are broken or burnt. After members of the family have gathered lots and lots of 'sugar bags' they take them back to their community and share the honey with other families.