Bush Medicine

Judith Pungkarta Inkamala (b.1948)
In 1990 a group of Aranda artists from Hermannsburg, a former Lutheran mission 130 km west of Alice Springs, learned pottery techniques from Naomi Sharp, an accomplished Northern Territory potter. They quickly began producing unique terracotta pots using hand building and coiling methods, with distinctive sculpted figures of people, animals and bush tucker as lid decorations and detailed surface paintings illustrating their own stories as well as images from other cultures.

In this pot Judith Pungkarta Inkamala depicts many examples of bush medicine. The artist describes the pot thus: "On this pot you can see the old brother walking, the eldest one, the sister in law going to visit the Ngangkara One (Bush Medicine Doctor). They are the eldest and are there to prepare the bush medicine and teach the young ones. The old lady and the old brother will sing, sing, sing and spit into the Bush medicine as they mix it. Singing and medicine into the mixture, over the big pot then sing that medicine into the jars. That's why everyone will get better and everyone will become strong".

Image and text are © Hermannsburg Potters Aboriginal Corporation & may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the artist.
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Object detail

Skin Name
terracotta and underglaze
43.0 x 31.0 x 31.0 cm (variable)
Accession Number
Credit line
Commissioned 2017
Object Type
Named Collection
Medical History Museum Category


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