Kungkarrangkalpa (Seven Sisters)
Size: 40 x 40cm; already framed acrylic on cotton canvas
Catalogue Number: 44-21
This is a Tjukurpa Story (Dreamtime Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion which is common to most Indigenous Australian groups. The different versions of this story depend on where you live and the significance’s of local Dreaming places.
The sisters, known as the Kungkarrangkalpa women, are said to be Pleiades while Orion is Nyiru or Nyirunya. Nyiru fell in love with the sisters but he was of the wrong skin group to marry, but he still pursued them across the country.
The seven sisters travel across the land to escape Nyiru’s unwanted attentions, but he is persistent and always finds them. Eventually sisters fly into the sky to escape Nyiru forming the constellation.
As Nyiru is chasing the sisters he tries to catch them by using magic to turn into the most tempting kampurarrpa (bush tomato) and the most beautiful Yirli (wild fig tree), for them to eat and camp under. However, the sisters are knowledgeable of his magic and too clever for Nyiru who they outwit again and again. They go hungry and run through the night rather than be caught by Nyiru.
In one version of the story Nyiru manages to capture the big sister and has his way with her. The other sisters rescue the big sister and nurse her back to health. It is said he also captures the youngest sister, but with the help of the oldest sister, she escapes back to her sisters who are waiting for her.