Anwekety (Conkerberry) SP7951-Lena Pwerle

Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30cm
Year Painted


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Anwekety (Conkerberry) SP7951-Lena Pwerle

The conkerberry (or conkleberry) known as Anwekety (or bush plum) to Lena, is a sweet black berry that is favoured by desert aboriginals. This fruit looks very similar to a plum, which is why it is often referred to in English by Lena as a 'bush plum'. They only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a few weeks of the year, however Lena's people collect plenty of them and store them dry, soaking them in water again before being consumed. The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. After rain fragrant white flowers bloom. This plant also bares medicinal properties. The orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the resultant solutions can be used as a medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub can be used to cure warts.

Lena paints the conkerberry (dot work) and tracks to and from the plant (linear work). In the Dreamtime, winds blew from all directions, carrying the anwekety seed over Lena's ancestors' land. The first anwekety of the Dreamings then grew, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands.

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