The boy who turned into wind (pirriya) at Walu rockhole – Narelle Ethel Kanpatja Holland


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Narelle Ethel Kanpatja Holland
Acrylic on Cotton Canvas
61 x 76cm
Year: 2024

The boy who turned into wind (pirriya) at Walu rockhole

This story is about a young boy who had no parents and was neglected.

There were two men (the boy’s uncles) and one young boy camping at Walu Rockhole, an important water site in the Gibson Desert, northwest of the tri-state border between Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia. 

The men went hunting and the boy stayed behind waiting. The men returned with an emu and pulled out its heart. The boy was holding the heart and blood spilt out onto the rocks. He ran away with the heart and turned into a big whirlwind. The big whirlwind. came up and swept the families away. Today you can still see the emu’s blood trail where it stained the rocks.

Walu rock hole is a special place north of Papulankutja (Blackstone) where traditionally Yarnangu families would gather when water was available in the holes found in a flat rocky area.