Hairstring Skirts


2003- Painting, Western Desert, 150 x 120cm

1 in stock

Product Description

About the area where Makinti Napanangka, (Aboriginal Artist) paints her stories. During mythological times, a group of ancestral women visited this site, holding ceremonies associated with the area before continuing their travels north to Kaakuratintja (Lake MacDonald), and after to the Kintore area. The lines in the painting represent spun hair-string which is used in the making of nyimparra (hair-belts), which are worn by both men and women during ceremonies.

Painted in 2005

Makinti Napanangka was born in 1930 in the Lake MacDonald region of Central Australia. She moved to Haasts Bluff with her husband, where she lived until Papunya was established in 1960. Makinti began painting in 1995, when she participated in the Kintore/Haasts Bluff collaborative canvas project, ‘Minyma Tjukurrpa’. The

interest in Pintupi women’s art arose in the mid-1990s, quite late in the history of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement. It was in 1996 that Makinti Napanangka, along with her cousin  and painting companion, Tatali

Nangala, began painting for Papunya Tula Artists.


Makinti Napanangka’s paintings often consist of interwoven, lightly coloured lines, which represent the

hairstring skirts of the ‘Kungka Kutjarra’ or Two Women, who feature prominently in Pintupi ancestral stories. These hairstring skirts are worn by Pintupi women in their ceremonies when they reaffirm these mythological stories through dance and song.


In the January 2003 edition of The Australian Art Collector Makinti was named as one of Australia’s top 50 most collectable artists.


Makinti Napanangka was selected for inclusion in the retrospective exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and

Genius, held at Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2000. Since then she has had four solo exhibitions, and in 2003 she was a finalist in the esteemed Clemenger Art Award held at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Napanangka’s paintings often depict designs associated with the travels of the Kungka Kutjarra (Two Ancestral Women). The lines entering the upper section of Untitled, 2000, represent the handspun, hair-string skirts worn by women during ceremonies. The celebratory nature of these performances is expressed in the hedonistic play of colour and form across the painting’s surface. Napanangka’s art personifies the ongoing presence of Pintupi cultural traditions in the contemporary painting movement.

Hetti Perkins in ‘Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014

Sadly, Makinti  passed away in January, 2011.


Additional Information

Weight 10 kg
Dimensions 156 x 96 x 5 cm
Send as

Rolled, Stretched/Framed