Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi
Born about 1947
Manyjilyjarra, Kukatja, Wangkajunga language group; Tjungurrayai skin group
My father got [my spirit] from [Nyakin], and my mother too … They were just taking me around them Countries, my mother and father. They took me everywhere.
Helicopter was born with blackhead snake Dreaming at Nyakin, south of Jupiter Well. While living near Natawalu, Well 40, he fell ill as a young boy. When a helicopter crew landed at Natawalu in 1957 they flew him to Balgo for medical attention. He has been known as Helicopter ever since. In Balgo he became a respected maparn (healer) and artist. He returned to his Country for the first time in 2000.
2007, by Helicopter Tjungurrayi
acrylic on linen, 94×65 cm
National Museum of Australia
Waruwiya [soak] and Pilalyi rock hole. I lived around here with my mother and father. Nyirla is our Country. I was walking around everywhere in that Country, that was the last time. [Then] we travelled to them waterholes on the Canning Stock Road, until we came closer to Natawalu. That’s where we saw a helicopter for the first time.