Born Kintore, Northern Territory, Australia c.1932, died 2003


Pokaru Bandicoot Dreaming at Pinpirnga, 1990

Pinpirnga is a rock hole site due west of Alice Springs. Benny Tjapaltjarri is a key kirda or keeper-owner for the site, and his outstation is nearby. Although women and children use the water from the rock-hole, there are certain features in the outcropping stone of the locality that are restricted men’s law. The site is one created by, and associated with, the pokaru bandicoot, which was plentiful until the 1940s but is now extinct.

In the painting, the area of the rock hole has been depicted by the circles. The lower two circles represent the rock holes; the top right-hand circle is a disguised way of depicting a secret men’s aspect; and the top left hand circle represents (again in disguised form) the tracks of the mythological bandicoots.

The dotted bar-lines are the sandhills that surround the locality and also run between the main low stony ridges and the rock holes. Their various colours are indications of the different kinds of vegetation which are to be found in the locality.


Text reproduced with permission. © Papunya Tula Artists.


Further reading

Friendly Country – Friendly People