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Zeza Nampijinpa Egan – Bush Foods

Original price was: $1,250.00.Current price is: $895.00. inc. GST

Zeza (Noreen) Nampijinpa Egan is a Warlpiri artist from Yuendumu. She has an outstanding understanding of colour and has a fine sense of composition. More information about the artwork and artist below.

This is an original artwork created by the artist and can be displayed portrait or landscape.

The artwork is stretched.

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  • Title: Mangariyi (Bush Foods)
  • Medium: Acrylic on pre-primed cotton canvas, stretched
  • Year:  2023
  • Size: 61 x 91 cm
  • Artist skin name: Nampijinpa
  • Language group: Warlpiri
  • Community: Yuendumu

Bush Tucker/Foods Story

The title of this painting is Mangarrayi (Bush Foods), the foods are found around Wayililinypa which is a remote outstation west of Yuendumu, a major community of Warlpiri people located 300 km north-west of Alice Springs on the Tanami Road. A number of different Jukurrpa (Ancestral Creation Stories) travelled through and created this country.

Yurrampi  shown in the centre are ‘honey ants’ aka Honeypot ants. These are a species of ant that live within a nest with  specialised workers that provide them with food so they are gorged to the point that their abdomens swell enormously. Other ants then extract nourishment from them, through the process of trophallaxis. They function as living larders. They live deep underground in red desert sand and are dug for. They nectar in their abdomens is delicious and the sacs are eaten whole by Warlpiri people.

Pirlarla – the edible seeds and seed pods of an Acacia tree are shown in alternate corners.

Ngarlkirdi (witchetty grub) are the edible larvae of a large moth are shown in alternate corners.

Wanakiji are bush tomatoes (Solanum chippendalei) and grow in open spinifex country and is a small prickly plant with purple flowers that bear green fleshy fruit with many small black seeds. After collecting the fruit the seeds are removed with a small wooden spoon called Kajalarra. The fruit can then be eaten raw or threaded onto skewers called Turlturrpa and then cooked over a fire.

Yuparli is the bush banana (Leichhardtia australis), a vine that produces a green fruit that are shaped like bananas.

The painting can be displayed portrait or landscape.

The artist – Zeza Nampijinpa Egan

Zeza is an outstanding colourist and has a fine sense of composition. She was originally called Noreen until a relative with that name passed away. In a community it is hurtful to hear the name of a deceased person so they are referred to as Kumunjayi and anyone with the same name can either take a new name or also be called Kumunjayi.

Zeza’s father was Ted Jangala Egan, a renowned tracker and early member of Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu.



The director of Songlines, Felicity Wright (aka Nangala), was the first manager of Warlukurlangu Artists from 1986-88 and is well known to the Egan family. Zeza’s father was a member of Warlukurlangu Artists when she was employed. Living and working on Warlpiri country and learning the language and stories was a huge privilege and changed her perspective on life. The Warlpiris introduced her to Indigenous ways of seeing and being in the world. The old men and women ‘grew her up’. She maintains strong connections with the Warlpiri families.