The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are “mulju” (soakages) or naturally occurring wells. /the “kirda” (owners) for this site are Nangala/Manpijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men.
Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. The storm travelled across the country from the east to the west, initially travelling with a “pamapardu Jukurrpa” (termite Dreaming) from Warntungurru to Warlura, a waterhole 8 miles east of Yunedumu. At Warlura a gecko called Yumariyumari blew the storm on to Lapurrukurra and Wilpiri.
Bolts of lightning shot out at Wirnpa (also called Mardinymardinypa) and at Kanaralji. At this point the Dreaming track also includes the “kurdukurdu mangkurdu Jupurrpa (children of the clouds Dreaming). The water Dreaming built hills at Ngamangama using baby clouds and also stuck long pointy clouds into the ground at Jukajuka where they can still be seen as rock formations.
The termite Dreaming eventually continued west to Nyirrpi, a community approximately 160km west of Yuendumu. The water Dreaming then travelled from the south over Mikanji, a watercourse with soakages northwest of Yuendumu. At Mikanji the storm was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlan’ (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) and carried further north. At Puyurru the falcon dug up a giant snake, ‘warnayarra’ (the ‘rainbow serpent’). The snake carried water to create the large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country. This story belongs to Jangala men and Nangala women.
After stopping at Puyurru the water Dreaming travelled through other locations including Yalyarilalku, Mikilyparnta, Katalpi, Lungkardajarra, Jirawarnpa, Kamira, Yurrunjuka and Jikaya before moving on into Gurindji country to the north.
In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa. Short dashes are often used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds) and longer, flowing lines represent the ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and river bed.