Ili Tjukurpa (Wild Fig Dreaming)

Ili Tjukurpa (Wild Fig Dreaming) has been passed down in the Riley’s family for generations. Ili Tjukurpa  comes from  Alison’s grandfather’s homeland in South Australia. Alison teaches her daughter Amelia Riley the family tjukurpa and togethers they both paint at Walkatjara Art.

Alison’s painting tells the travels of the Seven Sisters walking to Uluru, the eldest sister collects Ili (Wild Figs) along the way. Only she must touch them as Wati Nyiru can play magic tricks on the sisters. After the eldest sister touches them, she knows they are good or bad and gives them to her sisters.

The Seven Sisters Creation Story is of great significance to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people. The sisters travelled a long time ago through the artist’s traditional country in South Australia’s Northwest and the southwest corner of the Northern Territory.

A man called Wati Nyiru was chasing the sisters trying to court one of them. He used all kinds of trickery in pursuit of them but through the skill of the eldest, they always managed to keep one step ahead of him. The sisters finally escaped to a faraway place so they could stay together safe from the clutches of Wati Nyiru.

To this day the seven stars of the sisters followed by the bright star of Wati Nyiru following can be seen in the night sky in the constellations known as the Pleiades and Orion.

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