This painting depicts some of the “˜jarntu“’ or “˜maliki“’ (dogs) that live in Yuendumu. Families in Yuendumu tend to own many dogs. They are good “˜marlpa“’ (company). Many people think of their dogs as “˜warlalja“’ (family). Dogs in Yuendumu like to follow their owners around whenever they can.

“˜Jarntu“’ or “˜maliki“’ also feature in a number of “˜Jukurrpa“’ (Dreaming) stories. One “˜maliki Jukurrpa“’ (dog Dreaming) comes from a site called Pindara, southwest of Yuendumu. Another dog Dreaming story, “˜malikijarra Jukurrpa“’ (two dogs Dreaming), comes from country adjacent to Warlarla (Rabbit Flat). This site is part of a long Dreaming track that stretches from Yarrajalpa in the extreme west of Warlpiri country to Warlaku (Ali Curung) in the east. This Dreaming story describes proper conduct in families and marriages.

(Cecilia Alfonso)