Arlytilhe. Young Women Learning the Law - 357 x 457mm

Artist: Doris Thomas

Size: 357cm x 457mm

Medium: Acrylic on linen

Story from the certificate of authenticity:

This painting is of a group of young women who travel with their mother, learning about the Law and Country. The location is really important to Doris, who was born with a birthmark on her face in the shape of the rocky outcrop, Arlyetilhe where a group of young women sit down to camp. Doris was also born close to the low hills in the creek bed a few hundred metres west of Deep Well Station homestead. She explains 'I belong to that Country. I wear him [the low hills] on my face.All the young ladies went out into the desert with their mother, walking in the desert. They want to find a good place to live. They came to that place, near Deep Well Station [a rocky outcrop] just north of the eastern end of apwerte Urlampe [James Range]. There was shelter there [a rock shelter/cave] - kapi [water] - they all said 'This is good! This is a good place to sit down!' All the time they bin walking in the desert, one old man, Iterrkewarre was following the mother and the girls.'

Iterrkewarre [pronounced it-turk-kar-wara], a knob-tailed gecko man travels all over the area before being banished as Chambers Pillar south west of Titjikala Community for trying to marry his mother-in-law. Iterrkewarre left the Finke River and travels north-eastward. as he travels he grows into a huge and powerfully built man of super human strength with an extremely violent temper. On the way home to his birth place he successfully challenges and kills a number of unfortunate ancestors with his stone knife. Excited over these successes, he then disregards the strict marriage code and seeks a wife from the wrong skin group - that of his mother-in-law.

Doris explains 'When all the girls are sitting down at that place, the mother, she call to that old man. She saw him. He watches her daughters. She ask him 'Why are you following us? You want to marry my daughter? They're young!'The old man sat back. He said 'No, they are too young for me! I can't get married with them!' And he said to the mother of the young women 'I want you!' But she tells him 'No, I'm sorry, but i can't get married with you! I'm the wrong skin!' Iterrkewarre takes her with him defying the law, but his enraged relatives banished him and the women for his breach. The two retreated into the desert, Iterrkewarre raginginfury, the woman shrinking away from him in deep shame. Among the dunes they rested and turned into prominent rocky formations - Iterrkewarre into the Pillar, and the woman, still turning her face away from him in shame, into Castle Rock to the northeast,about 500 metres away from him.

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