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Tali, Tuwa (Sandhills)

The traditional lands of the Martu people encompass the Great Sandy Desert and Rudall River regions of Western Australia, an enormous tract dominated by distinctive red tali, or tuwa (sandhills). These sandhills present an unforgiving landscape; sparse vegetation covers a seemingly never ending expanse of dunes, and yet these lands and the location of resources within them was known intimately by its pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) inhabitants. At this time, Martu traversed very large distances annually in small family groups, moving from water source to water source through the harsh desert landscape with incredible stamina and resourcefulness. Travel was often undertaken at night, and when travelling during the day, Martu wore yakipiri (woven bark sandals) to protect their feet from the hot desert sand.

Name: Pauline Williams

Language: Manyjilyjarra

Community: Kunawarritji


Pauline is the daughter of renowned Martumili artist Jugarda (Dulcie) Gibbs. Pauline frequently paints her mother's traditional country between the Percival Lakes and Kunawarritji.

© the artist / art centre