Karen Bird Ngale

Karen Bird Ngale paints the Alpar (Rattail plant) Seed Story. In the olden time, women would collect this seed, crush it and use it in making damper (bread)

Karen Bird Ngale is the youngest daughter of well known artist and prominent leader for the area, Lindsay Bird. Her mother Mavis, and two sisters Jessie and Rosie are also artists. She has been painting since she  was an early teenager and has developed particular skill in executing very fine dot work and intricate imagery.

Although her story is also painted by her sisters her distinctive rendition of the Alpar (Rat tail) story makes Karen Bird work desirable.

The Alpar story is an important dreamtime story for Ilkawerne (the area Karen bird is from) women. The plant seeds were collected by women, soaked in water the dried and ground into a flour like substance. It was used medicinally and as a food.

Currently residing at Akaye Soakage in the Utopia Region of Central Australia, her paintings are Dreamtime stories associated with Awelye (women’s ceremonies) and Alpar (rat tail plant, bush medicine plant) .

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