Emu Dreaming by Raymond Walters Japanangka
Title: Emu Dreaming
Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen
Size: 89x124 cm
Artist: Raymond Walters Japanangka
This artworks depicts Emu feathers, it is said that during the Dreamtime hundreds of Emus travelled through the Western Desert towards the East, moving across the land in great numbers creating and forcing the land to change and evolve. Their enormous size and great numbers enabled them create such change in the land. For many days they travelled through different language groups leaving different stories, interacting with different animal species and spiritual beings, leaving songs and stories which are still heard today. Many died from travelling so far, so long without water and food. Signs of the Emus that perished are found in some remote areas in the Western and Tanami Deserts. Finally after travelling a great distance, the Emus decided to rest, they were resting near a place called Ngarleyekwerlang , home of the old man Turkey.
The Emus were hungry and heard from others about the sweet tasting Kutjuta . While the other Emus rested, one particular Emu went into the Ngarleyekwerlang grass plains and asked Old Man Turkey for some Kutjuta. The Old Man Turkey said his Kutjuta was rotten and didn’t taste very nice and got cranky, telling the Emu to go away. The Emu did not believe Old Man Turkey and returned to the others, waiting until late in the afternoon when the Old Man Turkey flew elsewhere.
When the Emu returned he came across a trench in the ground where he found all this Kutjuta hidden. He tasted one and it was beautiful and sweet. While he was feeding the Old Man Turkey came back and found him. He wasn’t happy and a fight started and scattered all the Kutjuta everywhere, which created the Ngarleyekwerlang landscape. This story is an important song sung during special ceremonies.
If you would like to know more about the Emu Dreaming and the relationship with Aboriginal Art and culture, please read the following article:
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