Our Star Dreaming jewelry is based on the artwork by Alma Nungarrayi Granites, whose skin name is Nungarrayi. There are many paintings on star dreaming because this is important for the Nungarrayi skin group.
Alma learned the dreaming from her father, Paddy Japaljarri Sims, who taught her all of the songs and ceremony for “Seven Sisters Dreaming” and “Milky Way Dreaming.” She started painting in 1987 and an active member of the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation. Her work was featured in many national and international exhibitions.
The painting that is the basis for the Star Dreaming jewelry tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men who traveled from Kurlurngalinypa to Lake Mackay on the West Australian border. The seven stars represent the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters. We call them the Pleides star cluster.
Along the way they performed ‘kurdiji’ (initiation ceremonies) for young men. Napaljarri and Nungarrayi women also danced for the ‘kurdiji’. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements.
During the performance of this ceremony the men wear ‘jinjirla’ (white feather headdresses) on either side of their heads. They also wear wooden carvings of stars which are also laid out on the ground as part of the sand paintings produced for business. ‘Ngalyipi’ (snake vine), is often depicted as long curved lines and is used to tie ‘witi’ (ceremonial spears) vertically to the shins of the dancing initiates. These ‘witi’ are typically shown as long, straight lines and the ‘yanjirlpirri’ (stars) are usually depicted as white circles or roundels.
Alma passed away in 2017, the mother of four with many grandchildren.
LEARN MORE ABOUT: