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Nancy Nyanjlpayi Chapman

Spinifex Hill Studios

‘When I was little, I used to stand up all the time, looking for the old people to come back bringing food. The old people gave me that name Ngarnjapayi [‘standing up’].

I been from lake, Jandindi area. This one lake, warlu (snake). Round, round, all way round, come back here. Lake here, good water. I been born there. Desert, pujiman (desert dweller). This one grandmother, nana. We been lose him here when I been big girl.

Two sister, two mummy, one father. I been lose him in Jigalong my mummy. May Chapman, my sister, and another sister Mulyatingki Marney. This one family been living here: ngurra (home). He been walk around, get him minyarra, bush tucker. Get a meat, wild pussy cat, and rabbit, and kangaroo, dingo. Plenty! They walk around quiet.

I been painting, I been painting little girl, big girl. Yandy every time. Yangalpa [rock hole] this one. I been walk around [with my] nana, grandmother, May Chapman, Mulyatingki Marney, me, Marjorie Yates.’

Nancy grew up in the Country surrounding the Canning Stock Route. In the 1960s she and her family rejoined their relatives, moving to Jigalong. She is the sister of Donald Moko, Mulyatingki Marney and May Chapman. She was cared for as a child by Eubena Nampitjin and Nora Nangapa. Nancy worked at various stations in the Pilbara before moving to Punmu in the 1980s.

Language group: Manyjilyjarra