Piti Walkatjara ~ Collecting Bowl With Design, 2019


  • 36cm x 18cm x 14cm
  • 2019
  • Iṯaṟa ~ River Red Gum
  • Catalog No: 1148-C052R20-19

The piti or wooden bowl is a traditional woman’s carrying vessel for food and water. Contemporary artists use walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. These relate Tjukurpa, stories about the Tjukuritja  or Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians so it is not possible to describe the full story behind the walka.
The artist hasn’t elaborated on the story of this walka, however it contains many elements of traditional desert design. Series of curving lines are often described as parts of the country: wind rippled sand dunes, intercut by the tracks of a Tjukuritja; the burrowings of animals; or the dry bed of a desert creek. Circles can be waterholes, campsites, eggs or headrings. In telling stories, women sit flicking sticks in the sand as they talk and they say walka is like this, the rhythmic strokes that accompany stories.