This painting depicts the Marlu Jukurrpa (Red Kangaroo [Macropus rufus] Dreaming) from Yarnardilyi and Jurnti (Mt Dennison area).
‘Marlu’ are highly valued as a food source by Warlpiri people. In the story of this painting an old ancestral kangaroo named Warlawee, who made its camp at Jurnti and moves from place to place – hunting during the day and returning at night to the camp, which it has formed by digging depressions in the soft ground. Warlawee traveled around large areas of country looking for their preferred foods, which include ‘yukuri’ (fresh green growth) and ‘yulkardi’ (desert cucumber [Mukia micrantha]) a low-growing herb found underneath ‘mulga’ trees which is used by Warlpiri people for medicinal purposes. He is thinking about having a ceremony for men. Women are not permitted to dance in this ceremony.
This Jukurrpa is the custodial responsibility of Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. Concentric circles are often used in depictions of this story to represent the rocks at Yarnardilyi. The arc shapes depict the kangaroo’s camp in the Jurnti area and ‘E’ and hooked shapes usually depict the ‘marlu wirliya’ (kangaroo fore and hind footprints) while long, straight lines represent the ‘marlu ngirnti’ (kangaroo tail tracks).