The Aboriginal artist Maggie Napaljarri Ross was born at Conniston Station in the Northern Territory in the early 1940s. She spent her early years there, before moving to Yuendumu as a child where she attended the mission school. Like her older brother Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, she went on to teach at the Yuendumu school before working as a cleaner at Yuendumu clinic.
Now widowed, Maggie has four children and “a big mob of grandkids”. She enjoys teaching her grandchildren how to hunt for bush tucker such as witchetty grubs, goannas and bush onions. Maggie always looks forward to ceremonies, dancing and singing together with the other women in her community.
Maggie’s traditional country is in around the Yuendumu area, at sites such as Wakurlpu, Yuendumu, Kakadu (Mt Dennison) and Wariwari (Mt Allan). She is responsible for stories (dreamings) relating to Marlu (kangaroos), Janmarda (bush onions), Janganpa (possums), Warlawurru (eagles) and Miinypa (native fuschia). These Jukurrpa were passed down to her by her father and mother, and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it.