Tyankern, or Mulga Seed, Dreaming is a very sacred Dreaming belonging to Lindsay and his people. The Mulga tree is prevalent in his country Ilkawerne, in southern Utopia, and all the way down to Alice Springs, some 150km or so. Almost all parts of this tree can be utilised for different functions, making it extremely valuable in years gone by.
To Lindsay, the 'seed' called tyankern is in actual fact a sweet edible berry that belongs to a type of mistletoe (Lysiana spp.) found growing on the Mulga tree. In the Dreamtime these two plants are one.
The lines and circles in the centre of this painting signify the Mulga tree, and are larger than the others denoting its significance. Painting red ochre as the middle line framed by yellow ochre lines are symbolic of the Mulga Tree Dreaming. Lines connect to the Bush Plum trees which are represented by black circles. Black or charcoal is often used to signify the colour of the bush plums, a small dark berry.
Background dotting is in painted using red ochre and yellow acrylics, which depict the tyankern (berries).in two stages of maturity. Arc linear shapes throughout represent men's ceremonial body paint designs associated with this Dreaming.
Artist: Lindsay Bird
Skin name: Mpetyane (also spelled Mbitjana)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1942
Read Lindsay Bird Mpetyane's full bio »
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