Desert Dreamscapes: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings
from the
Collection of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan at the Holter Museum of Art, Page 1





Lupulnga, Makinti Napanangka, 48" x 48" Kintore, 2002

For Aboriginal people the Dreaming confers rights to the land, it’s resources, and their proper role in relationship to one another. Celebrating ceremony — painting the designs and performing the songs and dances, believed to have been left behind by the Dreaming — reaffirms these bonds. The actions of the ancestral heroes in these Dreaming stories set precedents (the Dreaming is often referred to as the Law) for how people travel through the landscape, utilize its resources, behave in relation to one another, and perform ceremonies. In painting a work of contemporary art based on the Dreaming, Makinti is reaffirming her bonds to the place depicted and her role in celebrating it ceremonially — and in the process asserting her identity and ties of kinship.

This painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole (a natural well dependant on rain water) site of Lupulnga, south of the present day Kintore community, home to many important Pintupi artists. The Peewee (a small bird) Dreaming is associated with this site. In the Dreamtime a "mob" of ancestral women visited this site and performed ceremony here before continuing their travels north to Kintore.

The lines in this painting represent spun hair string, used in the manufacture of hair string belts, worn during the women's ceremonies associated with this place. Hair string belts are often used symbolically to represent the act of women dancing. The belts, worn above the hips have dangling strings often with feathers attached which swing about as the women dance highlighting their attractiveness.