Satchel Bag - Brushtail Possum Dreaming

Janganpa Jukurrpa - Mungapunju
Brush-tailed Possum Dreaming
By - Judith Nungarrayi Martin
The country associated with the Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brushtailed Possum [Tricosurus vulpecula] Dreaming) is Mungapunju, a hill south of the Yuendumu. A large family of ancestral ‘janganpa’ travelled east to Yukurdiyi. Then they travelled back to Mungapunju. The ‘janganpa’ live in hollow trees and hunt nocturnally, carrying their young on their backs. ‘Janganpa’ were once frequently found across much of Warlpiri and neighboring country but have become extinct in recent years. It is speculated that this extinction may be due to feral cat predation and the changes to their habitat caused by the introduction of cattle and other feral animals. The ‘janganpa’ is considered good meat for ‘yapa’ (Warlpiri people). Japaljarri/Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri/Nungarrayi women are the custodians of this Jukurrpa. In traditional Warlpiri iconography circles are used to represent the camps of the ‘janganpa’, curved lines depict the tracks led by the ‘janganpa’s’ tail and 'E' shapes are used to represent the ‘janganpa's’ footprints.



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