Women Collecting Awele Awele (Wild Tomatoes) and Yerrampe (Honey Ant) SP8433-Nikita Inkamala

Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30cm
Year Painted


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Women Collecting Awele Awele (Wild Tomatoes) and Yerrampe (Honey Ant) SP8433-Nikita Inkamala

Nikita paints women collecting Merne Yerrampe, known as Honey Ants, and Merne Awele Awele (Bush Tomatoes). Merne means food in Nikita's language and Yerrampe is the honey ant and Awele Awele are the bush tomatoes. Yerrampe are a sweet bush food for the aboriginal people. When hunting for Yerrampe care is taken not to kill or hurt them (or not get bitten either!) so that they can go on and collect more honey. The sac on the back of the Yerrampe holds pure natural honey.

Nikita illustrates the Yerrampe and women are represented by the 'U' motifs collecting them. They often carry with them their digging sticks which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods. Concentric circles represent the sites where the Yerrampe are being collected. Footprints that the women leave in the sand can sometimes be seen in Nikita's paintings. The background colours in the artwork reflect the rich sand hill country of Central Australia.

The clonal sub-shrub of the awele awele (wild tomato) grows most commonly on foothills and lower hill slopes throughout Central Australia. It produces beautiful purple flowers and velvety grey or bluish-green leaves. Drought resistant it can produce tomatoes when the weather is dry, but the tomatoes are produced in abundance during good moisture conditions. The tomatoes are a traditional staple food of the Central desert aboriginals. Once collected, the Aboriginal people eat the tomatoes raw or put them in the hot earth by the fire, sprinkle water on top and cook them.

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Located at
Mbantua Alice Gallery (MGA)