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Jiljikarraji warna

‘Jiljikarraji warna’ — Sandhill Pythons, artwork by Jimmy Pike

Design used throughout website and Magabala branding.

Artwork and story from You Call it Desert We Used to Live Here by Jimmy Pike and Pat Lowe.

‘Jiljikarraji warna’ — Sandhill Pythons

It is the mating season for warna. Around a hole in a sandhill are signs of recent disturbance, evidently made by snakes. Jimmy, who can read meaning from the seeming confusion, can see that a little drama has been enacted. A female python had been lying in her hole, awaiting suitors. A big male came courting. Then came a second, not far behind. The two rival males engaged in a fight for the female’s favours. They became locked together, rolling about the sand. A third male, also lured by subtle emanations from the female, arrived, and the skirmish intensified. While all this was going on the female, perhaps tiring of the commotion of which she was the reluctant cause, and taking her chance while the attention of the warring males was distracted, slipped quietly out of her hole and disappeared into the grass.

Artist: Jimmy Pike (deceased)

Jimmy Pike, a Walmajarri man, was born near Japingka, a waterhole in the Great Sandy Desert, and spent his early years as a hunter. He left the desert as a boy when members of his family moved to a cattle station in the Kimberley. Like many of his peers, Jimmy became a stockman and learnt to ride horses and muster cattle. Later, he spent several years in prison, where he took up painting. He soon established an international reputation as an artist, and his paintings and prints hang in galleries all around the world. Jimmy has published stories and illustrated a number of books. In spite of all these experiences, Jimmy was always a hunter and he never forgot the knowledge and skills he had learnt as a boy. He died in 2002.

With thanks to Pat Lowe and the Jimmy Pike Estate for permission to reproduce ‘Jiljikarraji warna’ — Sandhill Pythons.