Elsie Napanangka Granites
Known also as: Elsie Granites
Date of Birth: 1959
Region: Yuendumu, NT
Elsie was born in Yuendumu, a remote community north-west of Alice Springs. Her life has revolved around this area and she has been a prominent member of the community for many years. Elsie has been involved with organisations such as The Women’s Centre, The Old People’s Program and Women’s Night Patrol. With her artwork she has been an active professional painter at the renowned Warlukurlangu Art Centre.
Elsie has been painting for over thirty years and she is recognised for her fine dot work and exceptional representations of Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Mina Mina Dreaming). Although it is associated with men’s ceremony, Elsie also paints her father’s dreaming, which relates to the sites of land where women collect bush tucker. The women would travel to these sites to gather food and ‘Ngalyipi’ - Snake Vine (Tinospora Smilacina). Snake vine is a sacred vine used by the Napangardi and Napanangka women. This vine has uses ranging from ceremonial wrap, to a tourniquet for the treatment of headaches, or as a strap to carry bowls full of bush tucker. The other stories she portrays in her artwork include Honey Ant Dreaming (Yarrumpi Jukurrpa) and Snake Vine Dreaming (Ngalyipi Jukurrpa).
Elsie has raised three children, many grandchildren and now a great grandchild. She teaches them the dreaming stories that have been passed down by her parents, grandparents and many generations before them. They relate to her custodial country as well as the plants and animals that live in and around Yuendumu. By creating stunning visual depictions of her land, she is able to keep these traditional stories alive for many generations to come.