Christmas Ball by Rama Sampson

Christmas Ball by Rama Sampson

Kuntjanu is near Pipalyatjara in the far north west corner of the APY Lands. It is here, in Kuntjanu, that the Wanampi lives. Wanampi is the big rainbow serpent who sleeps under the ground in the tjukula (rockhole). Kuntjanu is home to the Wanampi Tjukurpa – Rainbow Serpent Dreaming. This is an important Tjukurpa story, where the snakes represent men. Rama says there is one Wanampi tjilpi – old rainbow serpent man – his name is Kuntjanu. His wife is ititjara (pregnant) and is hiding under the water. There are other people there, kuniya, mingkiri, and liru. The Kuniya is a big python with a black back and yellow front. Mingkiri are the mouse people, and liru are the snake people. Liru wati pika wakanu Wanampi, Wanampi pakanu ngarangu, the snake men were angry and speared Wanampi, he rose out of the waterhole and was speared by a left handed man. Wanampi’s son was born there and he still sleeps in the rockhole at Kuntjanu. Rama’s painting illustrates the Mingkiri Tjukurpa – Marsupial Mouse Dreaming. In this painting there are many mouseholes. When Rama talks about the Wanampi Dreaming at Kuntjanu, he says the stories are all together – ‘tjungu’. The Mingkiri people cry when Wanampi (rainbow serpent) is speared. The mingkiri are digging and burrowing with their mulya (noses) and blocking their holes up.

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