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Kurturarra is a yinta (permanent spring) located within the largest of the salt lakes in the Percival Lakes region, and surrounded by acacia trees. Other nearby water sources include Kupankurlu and Yimiri.

The Percival Lakes form a string of ephemeral salt lakes in the north of Western Australia, extending across a distance of 350km. They lie at the southern region of the Great Sandy Desert and east of the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) region. The Canning Stock Route runs in close proximity to some of the lakes, and crosses the salt pan of Tobin Lake near the eastern end. 

The region surrounding Kurturarra was formed by Wirnpa, one of the most powerful of the ancestral jila (snake) men and the last to travel the desert during the Jukurrpa (Dreaming). Wirnpa is a rainmaking jila who lived and hunted in the Percival Lakes area. His travels are described in the songs and stories of many language groups across the Western Desert, even those far removed from his home site. In his epic travels, Wirnpa met and feasted with many other ancestral beings, exchanged ceremonial objects, and created a series of different laws and ceremonies. When he finally returned home, he searched for his many children only to discover that they had already died. They had laid down and become the salt springs of the Percival Lakes. Wirnpa wept for his children before himself transforming into a snake and entering the soak where he still resides.

Name: Karen Rogers

Language: Manyjilyjarra

Community: Punmu


I was born in the riverbed near Nullagine. I grew up in Strelley, school there. Missionary days.  My mother and father there.  I moved to Jigalong, staying there a little while then went to Punmu.  I got my kids and granddaughter here.

© the artist / art centre