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Tjulpu (Bird)

Kathryn Queama

Murr-Murrpa (Desert Bloodwood)

25.7cm x 6.7cm x 5.7cm

2020

Contemporary carvings by Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) are known as punu, hand carved and decorated with walka, patterns burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire. The animals all have their associations with the Tjukurpa, the stories of the Creation Ancestors and the activities which shaped the land, the people and their Law. Many of the details of Tjukurpa are restricted to senior custodians and it is not always possible to describe the stories involved.

Although the majority of animals carved on the lands are lizards some Anangu have increasingly specialised in stylised tjulpu tjuta or birds. All desert inhabitants, they range in size and species from the tiniest nyii-nyii or zebra finch to large walawuru, the wedge tail eagle. Other desert birds include:

kaanka, or crow, named for the sound of its call: ‘kaan kaan kaan’; pititjaku-pititjaku or pied butcherbird, a black and white bird native to Australia which has a beautifully melodic voice; kurparor Australian magpie, another black and white native song bird; tjintir-tjintirpa  or Willie wagtail, a small, black, white-breasted bird with a long, fanlike tail;and kipara or bush turkey, hunted for its delicious meat.

Long necked carvings are usually rarer depictions of the itinerant waterbirds which can be seen in desert country after rains.

It is unusual for Anangu to paint their carvings as Catherine has done but she is one of Maruku’s more innovative artists.

* Australia wide shipping and packaging is included in the DAAF price. For international customers please contact us on to get a quote on the price.

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$370.00

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Maruku Arts

Come and visit our unique booth and look for works from our 2020 Telstra finalists Cynthia Burke and Dallas Smythe.

For over 30 years Maruku has operated as a not-for-profit art and craft corporation, owned by Anangu. More then 500 Aboriginal artists belonging to over 20 remote communities across the Central and Western Deserts, make up the collective that is Maruku. Our purpose is to keep culture strong and alive, through art, craft, tours and organic experiences.

We are the only Central Desert art organisation that specialises in Punu – wood carvings.

You will find here everything from traditional carved miru (Spear thrower) to our unique walka boards (etched plywood boards).

To learn more about us, check out our website and to view more of our artwork for sale have a look at our online shop.

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Shipping Policy

Australia wide shipping is included in the price. For international customers please contact us at to get a quote on the price.Please clearly nominate a street address for delivery. All artworks are posted using a chosen courier service and include insurance unless other delivery arrangements are made with Maruku. Maruku has a mail service once a week. Every effort is made to dispatch artworks as quickly as possible, but specific delivery times cannot be guaranteed. Please keep in mind that you are purchasing something from a remote community. Delivery time for domestic postage is usually fourteen days after the item has been sent and international up to eight weeks. Delivery costs are calculated for each artwork depending on size and weight.

Refund Policy

It is very important to us that you are happy with your purchase. If not, we will fully refund you for the value of the artwork, minus the postage costs. You must notify us within 10 days of receiving the artwork if you are not fully satisfied. You need only to pay the cost of returning it to Maruku. The artwork must be returned in its original condition with all of its accompanying documentation for the guarantee to apply. Upon receipt of the artwork we will issue you the refund.

Cancellation / Return / Exchange Policy

See refund policy.