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Tjalalu Marrapila

This painting is called Tjalalu Marrapila in the Kalkadoon language which means Bustard Turkey Boomerang and this is my interpretation of the hunt.

From the time the bustard turkey hatches from his egg he is hunted as he is a favourite food of the Kalkadoon people. The turkey walks across Kalkadoon territory hiding in the long spinnifex grass so he is not seen but when he has to cross the open country it is then that he is vulnerable. The hunters leave camp and work in pairs tracking the turkey’s footprints until at last they come across him then one hunter will stand up so the turkey can see him and then stay very still. The turkey is very quick and as long as the first hunter stays still so too will the turkey and will keep looking at him. The second hunter not seen by the turkey will move slowly and quietly through the spinnefex grass and then without warning he throws his boomerang and ends the hunt.

In my painting the turkey hatches from the eggs and starts his journey across Kalkadoon country which is represented by the footprints. The brown circles represent the Kalkadoon camps from where the hunt starts and the boomerangs represent the two hunters and the end of the hunt. The white spirit trails represent the Kalkadoon peoples connection to the land, each other and the bustard turkey.

By Chern’ee Sutton

Age – 15 years.

Size – 75cm x 100cm.

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