Katinpatimpa - Abie Jangala
Katinpatimpa - Tony Sampson Abie Jangala
Medium: Etching: Sugar lift painting and aquatint and a la poupee inking on two plates
Edition size 99
Collaborator/plate maker: Basil Hall
Printer: Matthew Ablitt
Studio: Basil Hall Editions, Darwin NT
Plate created: Lajamanu NT, July 2022
Print published: Darwin NT, June 2003
Paper: Hahnemuhle 350 gsm 560 x 760 mm
Image size 540 x 740 mm
This print was made from the mark the artist made on an etching plate while telling the narrative story, which took place at Thompson's Rockhole in the Tanami Desert. The artist was just three weeks from the end of his life and unable to paint any longer. The marks are exactly as he made them as if drawing in the sand while telling an epic tale. Katinpatimpa was a Jangala, Two women fell in love with him at Thompson's Rockhole where they were living. The women were both Nungarrayis and their father was a Japaljarri.
That Japaljarri gave his daughters to Katinpatimpa. The Jangala married them both, both of the Nungarrayi's daughters.
The Rainman, Ngapa, came and hit him with lightening. Ngapa chased him and struck him, he broke a leg, Katinpatimpa came back and took his two women to a Mulju (a soakwater). That Mulju was called Yantukumanpa.
Ngapa caught up with him there while he was digging for water. The two Nungarrayis told Katinpatimpa to get up and go.
Ngapa chased him all the way back to Thompson's Rockhole.
He put him in the water. They fought fiercely. Katinpatimpa kept moving as he fought all the way to Wollambi.
Ngapa Killed him there.
He had deep marks across his body from the boomerangs that hit him and the spears that pierced his skin.
He turned into a stone at that place. That stone is still there to this day.
‘Love Magic’ does exist in traditionally oriented Indigenous Australian communities in a variety of different ways, including visual art, ceremony, lengthy narratives, song and dance, it’s purpose seems to be widely misconstrued. Given that it is an umbrella translation for terminology from many different Indigenous Australian languages.
This artwork is part of a series using the Warlpiri and Kukatja word, Yilpinji, untranslated, rather than the misleading English hocus locus ‘love magic’. Why do indigenous societies practise Yilpinji. In traditional Australian life, there was a rigid system of arranged or ‘promised’ marriages, which to some extent continues to this day. Essentially marriage was an arrangement transacted between families, normally excluding what we now understand as ‘romance’.
’Yilpingi’ or socially authorised adulterous liaisons, which occur within a strict framework of rules, gives scope for the expression of romantic feelings and sexual love, without threatening the marriage system.
However it is quite clear that there is an inherent danger in Yilpinji-mediated relationships. Such unions could easily lurch out of control and therefore threaten normative marriage practises and rules. Hence the Yilpinji Dreaming narratives about illicit, transgressive love affairs, which as warnings and cautionary tales.