Nyarngkarni Penny K-Lyons
Born about 1932
Juwaliny, Walmajarri language groups, Nangkarti skin group
We are lost in our Country. Nobody’s here…
Nyarnkarni’s parents, her sister Rosie Tarco and brother Peter Skipper walked out of the desert before her. Travelling alone with her grandmother they met two infamous murderers, brothers who were preying on the last of the desert people. After killing Nyarnkarni’s grandmother, one of the brothers forced Nyarnkarni to be his wife.
2007, by Penny K-Lyons
acrylic on canvas, 89×89 cm
National Museum of Australia
This painting depicts Nyilnigil, a big water in Nyangkarni’s Country, which is surrounded by white trees called tinjil-pa.
Nyangkarni was the last of the desert people to travel north to the Fitzroy Valley from her homeland in the Great Sandy Desert. After being kidnapped by the men who killed her grandmother she cleverly led their group north to the stations where her family were living, stopping to drink and hunt at various waters along the way.