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The epic songline of Wati Ngintaka, the giant perentie lizard man, is a map for survival that is relevant today. He first sang his song as he travelled the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, creating waterholes and food sources that Anangu rely on today. Those who follow the song know where to find water and food across a vast area of the South Australian desert.

The Ngintaka story begins and ends in western Pitjantjatjara country. He travels into Yankunytjatjara country, lured by the sound of a superior grindstone, to make it his own. Modern archaeology posits an enormous millstone quarry, Palthirri Pirdi, with its beautiful fine-grained white sandstone, as a possible source for the grindstone Ngintaka coveted.

Anangu tell the story of the Ngintaka through rock art, body paint and ceremony and share the story with a wider audience through acrylic paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, 'tjanpi' grass weaving and film - media of the powerful APY contemporary art movement practised in community art centres across the region.

This book is here because Aboriginal owners and descendants of the Ngintaka wish to pass on his story to their children and grandchildren. The process of its development was a family and community inter-generational celebration - a great time of storytelling and learning. Women prepared seedcakes in the traditional manner while their grandchildren filmed them; young men created massive ceramic sculptures; everyone sang and danced 'inma' and the deeds of Wati Ngintaka were discussed again and again.

'This is the story of a revered Creation Ancestor and a story of cultural survival and regeneration.'

ITEM: 9862. ISBN: 9781743052921. COMPILED BY: Diana James and Elizabeth Tregenza

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