Maria Brown's - Flying Ant Dreaming
Size: 107cm x 76cm
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
This painting depicts the Pamapardu Jukurrpa (Flying Ant Dreaming) from Wapurtali, west of Yuendumu. 'Pamapardu' is the Warlpiri name for the flying ants or termites that build the large anthills found throughout Warlpiri country. This country belongs to Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. 'Pamapardu' are flying ants. They build earth mounds ('mingkirri') that are common in the Tanami area. When heavy rains come in summer the 'mingkirri' get flooded out, so the 'pamapardu' grow wings and fly off to make new homes, following their queens to dry mounds or to build anew. When they have found their new homes they drop their wings. In this stage they can be collected, lightly cooked in coals and eaten. As they fall to the ground women collect them to eat as they are nice and sweet. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. When this Jukurrpa story is painted concentric circles are used to represent the 'mingkirri' and the rockholes involved in the story, including the central ones at Wapurtali (Mt Singleton). Dashes are often depicted around the circles to represent the 'pamapardu'.