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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Minyma Kutjarra (Two Sisters Creation Story)

Photo: iocolor, Seattle

Minyma Kutjarra (Two Sisters Creation Story)


Maringka Baker

Australian Aboriginal, Pitjantjatjara people, Kanpi, Southwestern Deserts, South Australia, born ca. 1952

Two small black U-shaped forms are the focus of this painting, showing the journey of two ancestral sisters. They travel through the desert when vegetation is lush and blooming, but the little sister is wary of this new country so her big sister offers sacred songs and dancing to reassure her. Songs about these sisters relate to the larger Seven Sisters star system. Maringka Baker continues to sing about the sisters who are chased by a lustful old man. While the seven sisters eventually escape up into the sky to become the stars of the Pleiades, Orion remains the old man who never gives up the chase.

--Pam McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art, 2012
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
47 1/4 x 77 15/16 in. (120 x 198cm)
Gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan
Provenance: [Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney, Australia]; Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan, Seattle, Washington, 2009
Photo: iocolor, Seattle
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection, May 31 - Sept. 12, 2012 (Nashville, Tenessee, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, June 23 - Oct. 15, 2017; Madison, Wisconsin, Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Jan. 26 - Apr. 22, 2018; Austin, Texas, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, June 3 - Sept. 9, 2018; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, Audain Art Museum, Oct. 5, 2018 - Jan. 28, 2019). Text by Pamela McClusky, Wally Caruana, Lisa Graziose Corrin, and Stephen Gilchrist. Cat. no. 2, pp. 56-57, reproduced.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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