Kaningarra - Susie Napangarti Bootja Bootja
NKaningarra - Susie Napangarti Bootja Bootja
Print on Paper, 76x56cm
During the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) a man and a woman were travelling around this area which is located at the top of the Canning Stock Route. They stopped in the country known as Kaningarra to dig a hole for water, where a permanent spring now exists. The two two people are shown as the U shape. They are shown camping by the spring. Surrounding them is the abundance of tjunta, or bush onion, which can be found in this region today. The arch shapes along the edges are talis, or sand-hills, which dominates the landscape of the area. The iridescent colours reflect the sky, the white and black stones and the colours of the sand hills as the late afternoon advances toward sundown.
‘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.