Milkujung Jewess James
Born about 1940’s
Wangkajunga language group, Nakarra skin group
My father said, “I’m not giving you my kids. You might take them to another place far away from here.”
As a child, the Old Balgo Mission priest tried to put Jewess and her sister into school. That night, Jewess’ father fled with his family to Kurungal, Christmas Creek Station, where Jewess eventually married Majarrka boss, Wirrali Jimmy James. Today, she is a respected law woman in her community.
2007, by Jewess James
acrylic on canvas, 118 x 103.5 cm
National Museum of Australia
They killed that jila (ancestral snake) for that water Kulyayi. They found him at his own waterhole and killed him. My people always used to see him outside the waterhole. Long time ago. We went there lately and I saw that there was hardly any water. Only little bit, enough for birds to drink. Before it was big. Water was full.
This is my mother’s and grandfather’s Country, Kulyayi. This is how they slept in the cold weather. They made windbreaks out of spinifex and trees, and fire in the middle in the cold season.