Valerie Napurrurla Morris
Aboriginal Warlpiri woman
Valerie Napurrurla Morris was born in 1942 on Mount Doreen, an extensive cattle breeding station between Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia, and Nyirripi, 160 km further west. She went to the local school in Yuendumu and when she finished schooling she got a domestic job cleaning houses. She married Mosquito Morris and had two children, a daughter and son. She had many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Valerie lived in Nyirripi but had family living in Yuendumu, Papunya and Kintore. She started painting when she saw her big sister's paintings. Her sisters taught her Dreaming. Valerie painted Janganpa Jukurrpa (Brush-tail Possum Dreaming), and Mukakee Jukurrpa (Bush Plum Dreaming), Dreaming which relates directly to her land, its features and animals. When she wasn’t painting, she loved hunting and ‘exercising’ chasing goannas and digging for honey ants and witchetty grubs.
Desert Fringe-rush is a native grass with an edible seed. The seeds are traditionally ground on a large stone with a small stone to create flour. This flour is mixed with water to make damper cakes which are cooked in fire coals.