Jajirdi manu Janganpa (Native Cat and Possum Dreaming)

Andrea Nungurrayi Martin, Warlpiri / Australian, born 1965
Western Desert
Northern Territory



Acrylic on linen

Overall: 72 1/16 × 35 13/16 in. (183 × 91 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner



Place Made: Australia, Oceania


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


This painting shows the journey to a Kurdiji (initiation ceremony) followed by a fight. The u-shapes traditionally represent the Jajirdi, or Native Cat ancestors. They started out from the south and then gathered to make spears at Warrunungu near Kirrirdi Creek (shown at the bottom left). Holding spears, the Jajirdi continued to Yamirringi to conduct the secret ceremony, shown by the largest group of concentric circles. The Janganpa (common bushtail possum) ancestors then interrupted the proceedings and a large fight erupted. Afterwards, the Janganpa forced the Jajirdi to join the initiation ceremony. This work references many specific geographical sites that would be familiar to the artist and her people, the Warlpiri.

From the 2023 exhibition Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberley and Central Desert, curated by Amelia Kahl, Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming

Course History

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

Studio Art 17.08, Digital Drawing, Karol Kawiaka, Winter 2024

Studio Art 17.08, Digital Drawing, Karol Kawiaka, Winter 2024

Exhibition History

Layered Histories: Indigenous Australian Art from the Kimberely and Central Desert, Amelia Kahl, Curator, 5 August 2023 - 2 March 2024, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire.


Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Association, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia; sold to Will Owen (1952-2015) and Harvey Wagner (1931-2017), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, July 17, 2000; given to present collection, 2016.

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