Tjilkamata, 2022


  • 15.3cm x 5.7cm x 3.9cm
  • 2022
  • Catalog No: 1148-MAANBE3-22

Punu depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape. This punu describes Tjukurpa related to Tjilkamata, the Echidna from country around Kaltukatjara or Docker River in the south west corner of the Northern Territory. Also known as tjirilya or spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus), it is an animal unique to Australia. Covered in sharp spikes, in the desert country it lives in rocky habitats and is considered a favourite food by many Anangu. For Anangu survival depends on understanding Tjukurpa and how it provides a code to read the both the physical and social environments.