Women Collecting Alhepalh (Acacia Shrub) SP7416-Janice Clarke Kngwarreye

Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30cm
Year Painted

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Women Collecting Alhepalh (Acacia Shrub) SP7416-Janice Clarke Kngwarreye

Janice's painting represents women collecting Alhepalh (Acacia dictyophleba), a sparsely branched shrub that is found abundantly near Janice's home in the Utopia region in Central Australia. Janice depicts the women by using traditional U shaped symbols, accompanied by their digging sticks and coolamons (carved wooden bowls) which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods. The coolamons are full of alhepalh.

Alhepalh produces small soft coated brown seeds that the women would collect, grind into a paste and cook into damper (bread) making it a most important food source. This practice however is not habitual now due to ready made bread.

'Alhepalh-penh ntang inem athaynteyew'

The seeds from the alhepalh are collected so that they can be ground up.

Depending on the size of the shrub, its trunk can also be used to fashion into spears and digging sticks and was traditionally an important trade object. Alhepalh also has medicinal properties and produces small fragrant flowers.

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Located at
Mbantua Alice Gallery