Earth pigments on Stringybark
62.5 x 32cm
Yukuwa is a type of yam that is ŋatha (food). It can also be a reference to Yirritja renewal ceremony, which is by definition a shared communion of Yirritja moiety clans, which does not relate to circumcision or mortuary rites. Spirits of deceased people are on a cyclical journey from their point of death to the reservoir of souls particular to their clan identity. But at these irregular ceremonies they all congregate for one last dance together before heading their separate ways. There are relationships between Yirritja moiety clans that are renewed through Yukuwa ceremony at particular sites which relate to the ritual exchange of sacred objects, song and dance.about plants.
Its annual reappearance is a metaphor for the increase and renewal of the people and their land. Traditionally the invitation to such a ceremony is presented as an object in the form of a yam with strings emanating from it with feathered flowers at the end. This is a suggestion of the kinship lines which tie groups together.