Download Desert Lake : art, science and stories from Paruku by Steve Morton, Mandy Martin, Kim Mahood, John Carty PDF

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By Steve Morton, Mandy Martin, Kim Mahood, John Carty

Desert Lake is a publication combining inventive, medical and Indigenous perspectives of a awesome area of north-western Australia. Paruku is where that white humans name Lake Gregory. it really is Walmajarri land, and its humans live to tell the tale their nation within the groups of Mulan and Billiluna.

This is a narrative of water. while Sturt Creek flows from the north, it creates a tremendous inland Lake one of the sandy deserts. not just is Paruku of nationwide importance for waterbirds, however it is has additionally helped discover the earlier climatic and human historical past of Australia.

The Walmajarri humans of Paruku comprehend themselves in terms of state, a coherent entire linking the surroundings, the folk and the legislation that governs their lives. those understandings are encompassed via the Waljirri or Dreaming and expressed in the course of the songs, imagery and narratives of putting up with traditions. Desert Lake is embedded during this broader imaginative and prescient of nation and gives a wealthy visible and cross-cultural portrait of a unprecedented a part of Australia.

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Additional resources for Desert Lake : art, science and stories from Paruku

Example text

Stopped chasing the emu, had a feed and they was And this like I’m painting now, the brown part, not the black one, the black ones are old – the flood came bringing those stones and sands, building it up on my old ancestors’ ground. The oldest part, they left it behind and the wind came along, blew the sand over the top of it and put it underneath. The black part is oldest layer – tools, axe, sandstone for making weapons smooth, women used to have grindstones for grinding. That’s the whole area where we’re living now: this area.

Although the Paruku Community had lost its champion, he had bequeathed a legacy of pride and security in the generations to come. A field trip with Kim Mahood in 2005 provided another memorable event for me. We travelled west to Well 50, in so doing crossing the mega-lake shoreline. In our published account of that ridge, we had made a special feature of a large kurrkapi, a desert oak, on the ridge crest, a solitary and ancient individual. On arrival, a strange and moving ceremony took place. Holding our diagram of the mega-lake, the circle of women launched into a celebratory dance around the tree, and then inducted me into the Japangarti skin, which is attributed to the kurrkapi.

We have just emerged from the last major ice period, a cycle that began a little over 100 000 years ago. The diagram below reveals oscillations between lakes and dunes, between wet and dry events. Wet environments with high lake levels are indicated by stream gravels, limestone plates and freshwater shells. Dry lake episodes are identified by soil formation on earlier lake sediments and by erosion of limestone. A wet phase nearly 120 000 years ago was followed by drying and dune-field expansion over a long period.

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