Janganpa (Possum) Dreaming #154

about

Tjupurrula and Tjakamarra men and Napurrula and Nakamarra women are the 'kurdungurlu' (ceremonial custodians) of the Janganpa (common brush tail possum or trichosurus vulpecula) Dreaming. 'Janganpa' are noturnal animals that often nest in the hollows of white gum trees (wapunungka) A common 'janganpa' story is about a 'janganpa' ancestor who travelled all over the Warlpiri lands, visiting various sites during the Dreamtime including one site called Jangankurlangu, meaning literally, 'belonging to the possum'.

The 'janganpa' men carry their hunting weapons as they move around the country, wearing 'majardi (hair string skirts) 'Janganpa' were once frequently found across mucyh of the Warlpiri and neighboring country but have become exitinct in recent years. It is speculated that this extinction may be due to feral cat predation and the changes to their habitat caused by the introduction of cattle and other feral animals. The 'janganpa' is considered good meat for 'yapa' (Warlpiri people). In traditional Warlpiri iconcography wavy lines and "E" shapes are used to depict the tracks that the 'jananpa' left as he moved around.

Jorna Nelson Napurrula

d. 2010

Jorna Nelson Napurrula was born around 1930 near Yuendumu, about 350 kilometers northwest of Alice Springs. Her Dreamings mainly relate to her grandfather's country at Mt. Singleton. They mainly depict bush tucker (bush food), different food sources that are important to the diet of the Aborigines and the locations where they are to be found. The most common and most important are the Y . . .
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Janganpa (Possum) Dreaming #153

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