Punu Snake Decorated Walking Stick, 2016


  • 117.5cm x 6cm x 7cm
  • 2016
  • Wanaṟi ~ Mulga Wood
  • Catalog No: 1148-985A-16

Contemporary carvings by Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known as punu, hand carved and often decorated with walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with the Tjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Tjukurpa is celebrated in inma (ceremony, song, and dance), story telling and art work. Many of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians.
The serpent entwined wood combines the traditional skills used in carving a woman’s digging stick, traditional dancing club, or men’s club with the idea of a decorated walking stick.
The carving relates to one of the many stories of different snakes and the landforms and Laws they were responsible for creating. Kuniya, Liru  and Wanampi  (Python, Venomous Snake and Water Serpent) are the three major snake ancestors most commonly referred to.