Lost Families

“They knew that was their people lying near the billabong, because my people know their knowledge in the desert. For a long time, at those two billabongs, there were never any bush onions around that area. The people founded bush onion plants here. They knew the families died here, so my grandpa’s people sat at the billabong and started crying for their families.

“Those lost families, before they died, they ate bush onions and those seeds were in their stomach and that is where they grow today.”

Mark Nodea paints the story as was told to him by his grandfather on his father’s side. His grandfather’s family were living in the desert, south-west of yakanarra at karrajati country. Some families told his grandfather that they were leaving to look for bush food and waterholes. After a week they hadn’t returned. Some men got together to look for the families. They searched day and night and burnt bushfires but to no avail. They searched for two years until, close to kurtal, they came across two billabongs surrounded by bush onions. They knew it was their people.

Courtesy of Warmun Art

..Natural ochre and pigments on canvas
..1200mm x 900mm
Copyright Line
..Copyright Warmun Art Centre