Ngarnjapayi Nancy Chapman
Born about 1940’s, died 2012
Manyjilyjarra language group, Karimarra skin group
Nancy grew up in the Country surrounding the Canning Stock Route. In the 1960’s she and her family rejoined their relatives, moving to Jigalong. She is the sister of Donald Moko, Mulyatingki Marney and May Chapman. She was cared for as a child by Eubena Nampitjin and Nora Nangapa. Nancy worked at various stations in the Pilbara before moving to Punmu in the 1980s.
When I was little, I used to stand up all the time, looking for the old people to come back bringing food. The old people gave me that name Ngarnjapayi [‘standing up’].
Juntujuntu: Minyipuru and Kurrkurr
2007, by Nancy Chapman
acrylic on canvas, 120×78 cm
National Museum of Australia
On their journey the Minyipuru stopped at Juntujuntu, a permanent spring near Well 30. Mujingarra is another permanent water located six metres below ground in a cave near Juntujuntu. This large, clear pool is known as the kurru or eye of Kurrkurr the night owl. When Kurrkurr was speared, his eye was said to have popped out, landing in Mujingarra.
When Alfred Canning’s party arrived at Mujingarra in 1906, it did not receive a warm reception from the large group of Aboriginal people who were camped there. To ensure they would sleep safely, Canning’s men forced the entire group into the cave and sealed them in for the night. Canning’s account is silent about how this was accomplished.