Mirtikanya (Mujupunkanu, Watchpoint Hill), 2022


  • 30cm x 30cm
  • 2022
  • Acrylic On Canvas
  • Catalog No: 1115-22-321

“This one here is Watchpoint Hill near to Jigalong, with all the sandhills and the walyji (white gums). We got warla (lakes) there too. Jigalong is where I grew up.”

 – Helen Dale Simpson

Mirtikanya is a hill and claypan close to Balfour Downs Station and north of Jigalong Aboriginal community, where Dale continues to live today. During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era, Mintikanya was primarily used as a camping site in the wantajarra (wet season), when the claypan filled with kapi (water).

Mirtikanya’s location close to Jigalong Mission made it a popular camping site for mission residents on the weekend. For many Martu Jigalong Mission was where their pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) lifestyle came to an end from the late 1940s as they transitioned to a life as stockmen and women working in cattle stations in the Pilbara region and beyond. In the wake of the extreme and prolonged drought of the 1960s, the last of the remaining pujimanpa (desert dwellers) were forced to move to missions like Jigalong, where a supply of food and water was assured. There, many were reunited with family members that had already moved in from the desert.