Merne Akatyerre (Desert Raisin) MB044642-Elsie Dixon Penangke

Acrylic on Canvas
120 x 30cm
Year Painted


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Merne Akatyerre (Desert Raisin) MB044642-Elsie Dixon Penangke

Elsie has painted beautiful designs that represents Merne Akatyerre, known as the desert raisin, wild sultana or bush tomato (Solanum centrale). Merne means food in Elsie's language and akatyerre is the raisin. The clonal under-shrub of the akatyerre can grow on Spinifex sand plains throughout Central Australia, often found across from mulga areas. It produces beautiful purple flowers and soft green leaves. The akatyerre grow in good moisture conditions and are heavily dependant on fire to obtain maximum potential. This fruit is probably the most important of all Central Australian plant foods due to its abundance and widespread availability most of the year. Once collected, the Aboriginal people eat the akatyerre raw or grind them into a paste before being consumed. The paste can also be rolled into balls and dried to store during long periods of drought. This practice is not as habitual now.

There is a Dreamtime story that belongs to the akatyerre for Elsie and the people of Atoola (Bushy Park) country. Ceremonies are performed to demonstrate respect for this story and maintain the existence of the akatyerre plant.
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Located at
Mbantua Alice Gallery