24-28 – Minyma Kutjara Tjala Tjukurpa (Two Women Honey Arts Story)
About the Artwork
Tjala Tjukurpa is a creation story from Kaltukatjara (Docker River). Here, the artist is communicating the Tjukurpa (story) of collecting Tjala (honey ants) in the form of Minyma Kutjara (two women) singing and dancing.
The Artist has used long sticks and crescent shapes to represent the Wana (digging stick) and Piti (dish); the circles that fill the space are the holes made when digging for Tjala.
Tjala is Tjuratja (sweet foods) Tjala are found deep below the ground in nests beneath the Mulga trees. Women dig for hours to get the sweet honey tasting syrup the ants store in their distended abdomens. Worker ants climb to the surface and up into the flowering trees to collect the nectar, carrying it back to the storage ants hanging upside down in small chambers, unable to move for the weight of their honey filled bellies. The women carefully hook the ants with a stick to bring them to the surface. They are held by the legs and head which are discarded after the honey is enjoyed.
Anangu say that by painting and talking about bush foods it guarantees that supplies will be plentiful all year round!