Walumarra Business, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
91 x 121 cm
My name is Chern’ee Sutton and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from the Mount Isa area in Queensland.
This is my interpretation of “Walumarra Business” which means in the Kalkadoon language “Womens Business”.
For thousands and thousands of years while the men were out hunting large game the women too were out hunting and gathering bush foods and medicines. They would use their digging sticks to dig for bush yams, honey ants and witchetty grubs. They would collect plums and bark from the wild plum bush using the plums as food and the bark to treat skin ailments. They would collect berries and wood from the conker berry bush using the berries as food or drying them out to eat at a later time and they would burn the wood for a mosquito repellent. They would collect wild lemongrass and boil it to make a lemon tea for sore throats and they would ground the pea bush seeds to use as a flour. They would collect nuts from the sandalwood tree and roast them slowly to eat like peanuts and they would collect blossoms from the hakea tree and immerse them in water for a sweet tasting drink.
In my painting the women sit on their bottoms with their feet underneath them with their digging sticks on one side of them and their coolamons on the other side. They firstly collect the bush tucker and then prepare the food for medicines and food around the campfires and when the women get up off the ground the U shape left in the sand is where they were sitting.
By Chern’ee Sutton
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