Pink 2007

24 AM 5051/07
Tjampawa Katie Kawiny Seven Sisters 2006
Acrylic on linen
1015 x 760mm

Tjampawa has depicted the Seven Sisters Story. This is a Tjukurpa Story (Creation Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion. The sisters are the constellation of Pleiades and the other star Orion is said to be Nyiru or Nyirunya (described as a lusty or bad man). Nyiru is forever chasing the sisters known as the Kunkarunkara women as it is said he wants to marry the eldest sister.

The seven sisters travel again and again from the sky to the earth to escape Nyiru’s unwanted attentions. They turn into their human form to escape from the persistent Nyiru, but he always finds them and they flee back to the sky. As Nyiru is chasing the sisters he tries to catch them by using magic to turn into the most tempting kampurarpra (bush tomatoes) for the sisters eat and the most beautiful Ill (fig) tree for them to camp under. However, the sisters are too clever for Nyiru and outwit him as the knowledge of his magic. They go hungry and run through the night rather than be caught by Nyira.

Every now and again one of the women fall victim to his ways. It is said that he eventually captures the youngest sister, but with the help of the oldest sister, she escapes back to her sisters who are waiting for her. Eventually sister fly back into the sky to escape Nyiru reforming the constellation.

(In some cases the artist will secretly depict sexual elements as Nyiru is really only after one thing – sex). The ‘u’ shapes are the sisters. Next to the women are their wana or digging stick and wira or small wooden bowl for scraping and carrying items. The green circles are rock holes where water collects after the rains.

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