Yanjirlpirri or Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa
Star or Seven Sisters Dreaming
By - Athena Nangala Granites
The Napaljarri-Warnu Jukurrpa depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation known as the Pleiades. Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra the Napaljarri-warnu turned themselves into the fire and ascended to the heavens to become stars. The custodians of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa are Japaljarri /Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri /Nungarrayi women. Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming) tells of the journey of Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men. The site depicted in this canvas is Yanjirlypiri (star) where there is a low hill and a water soakage. The importance of this place cannot be overemphasized as young boys are brought here to be initiated from as far as Pitjanjatjara country to the south and Lajamanu to the north. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. Often depicted in paintings for this Jukurrpa is the female star Yantarlarangi who chases the seven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her.