My name is Andrea Pindan. I was born on a station called Myroodah near Looma Community, about 190 km west of Fitzroy Crossing. I have four children and my husband’s name is Claude Carter. We live on a block that belongs to us - Bawoorrooga community, 100 km to the east of Fitzroy Crossing.
My grandmother Emily Pindan was a Martu woman. She came from the Wirnpa, southwest of the Canning Stock Route. It is in the warla [salt lake] country. I first enjoyed art in the year 2000 because I used to watch my uncle Thirsty Pindan paint Wirnpa. He is gone now but I always think of him. I used to help him finish his canvas paintings.
Today I paint Wirnpa because it is my grandmother’s and my uncle’s country. Our family lived there for many generations. I also paint the warla country. I paint the sweet bush tomato and the warma [bush medicine] flower. Andrea has recently begun to paint plates and other artefacts. As a child, I lived with my grandmother growing up around Bayulu Community and Fitzroy Crossing.
I also went back to La Grange to see my other family. I was always moving in a triangle between those three places. In 2009, I went to visit my ancestor’s country (Wirnpa) with my family. When we arrived there we had to break branches to meet the rainbow serpent. It was the first time I felt this spirit, the first time I had been touched by my ancestors.
Everybody cried tears of joy. I was so happy when I arrived. I walked around and collected sand frogs, witchety grubs and other bush foods. It was mostly young people that went back to country because it is up to the young people to keep that knowledge. That’s why the old people tell us stories and we have to listen carefully.
That story could be 40,000 years old. Once they give the stories to us, it is our role to hand these down to our children. Most of the old people are gone now and it is up to us to keep the knowledge of that place alive.