Nakarra Nakarra

Nakarra Nakarra means “seven sisters.” This myth celebrates the journeys and actions of a group of women mainly from the Nakamarra kinship, and it comes from the Wirrimanu community in the Tanami Desert. The seven women are pursued by a suitor, Tjakamarra, who is in “wrong skin” and is not properly related to them – therefore, he must be rejected.

In the Ngarangkarni (the Dreamtime), seven Nakamarra (skin name) Sisters descended from the sky and traveled through the land. They were the first Women on Earth. They would come to Earth to hunt and gather bush tucker and to paint themselves and dance ceremony. One day this old man, Tjakamarra (skin name), was walking past and saw them near the Nakarra Nakarra hills. He crept up on them and grabbed the youngest woman and took her away to be his wife, although he was son-in-law to the sisters. The other sisters ran away and ascended into the sky with their digging sticks. The younger sister fought back against Tjakamarra and got away. She followed her sisters up into the sky. The sisters are still up in the sky today. You can see the six sisters with the seventh sister following behind. Tjakamarra still pursues the sisters and trails behind as well.

Thus, the Nakarra Nakarra myth explains the appearance of the Pleiades constellation – the seven stars are the seven sisters – and the Morning Star – it is Tjakamarra.

Painting of Nakarra Nakarra Dreaming by Kukatja Law woman, Mirlkitjungu Millie Skeen

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