Who is Tjunkiya Napaltjarri?

By Gwylym Owen

Tjunkiya Napaltjarri (also known as Tjunkiya Kamayi, Tjungkiya, Tunkaii Napaltari, Kowai or Kamayi) (c. 1927–2009) was a Pintupi-speaking Indigenous player from Australia’s Western Desert region. She is the sister of artist Wintjiya Napaltjarri.

Tjunkiya’s paintings are held in major public art collections, including those of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the National Gallery of Victoria.

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