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Introducing Eileen Bird Kngwarreye

Arlatyey Bush Foods Eastern Arrernte woman Eileen Bird Eileen Bird Kngwarreye Pencil Yam Utopia

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Eileen Bird Kngwarreye (pronounced Ung-wahr-ay).

Eileen is an Eastern Arrernte woman, and her country is Arnumarra, near Gem Tree northeast of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Her family grew up at Harts Range where her brothers and sisters continue to live. Eileen grew up on her country at Harts Range but moved to southern Utopia to marry her husband, the late Paddy Bird. Together, they had eleven children (Maggie, Tanya and Alvira Bird among them). Paddy's mother was a renowned artist named Ada Bird Petyarre, sister to the famous Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre.

Her artworks mainly depict either the ʻArlatyeyʼ story or Women's ceremony. ʻArlatyeyʼ is the Anmatyerre word for Pencil Yam. Many female artists often paint dreamings associated with bush foods, as they are vital to Aboriginal traditional life. Through painting, they pay homage and celebration of the continued growth of these plants to flourish from season to season.

Eileen has been painting professionally since the mid 1990’s and her beautiful colourful works have a strong following.

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