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Book: Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari

Cover image © Magabala Books

Cover image © Magabala Books

Art and healing practice are closely linked. As Esme and Marilyn Russel Timbery (artists from La Perouse, NSW) say their work is a continuation of Bijigal artistic practice and a very important healing practice. The context reflects their past and shares personal and traditional stories. Several artists are also traditional healers, such as the talented artist Jan Billycan from Ilyarra country in the Great Sandy Desert (North Western Australia). The traditional healer and artist paint life, her x-ray vision penetrates the forms that represent both land and human body, an extension of the land (To view Jan Billycan’s artwork, visit the link on the right side of this article).

This publication celebrates the complexity and the beauty of Indigenous culture. In Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari much of the prose has been authored by Aboriginal people, Tjanpi desert weavers. Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a not-for-profit Aboriginal social enterprise established in 1995 by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council to provide an income source for women living in remote Central Australian communities.

The Ngangkari are the traditional healers of their lands, encompassing 350,000 square kilometres of the remote western desert. For thousands of years the Ngangkari have nurtured the physical, emotional and social well-being of their people. To increase understanding and encourage collaboration with mainstream health services and the wider community, the Ngangkari have forged a rare partnership with health professionals and practitioners of Western medicine. Experience the world of the Ngangkari as they share their wisdom, natural healing techniques and cultural history through life stories, spectacular photography and artwork.

Author: Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjar Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council Aboriginal Corporation (NPY)


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