Anaty (Desert Yams)

Jeannie Mills Pwerle

Artwork Year

30 x 30 cm


acrylic on canvas


Jeannie paints the Anaty (Desert Yam or Bush Potato, Ipomoea costata) story from her father’s country, Irrweltye.

This yam grows underground with its viny shrub growing above ground up to 1 metre high. It is normally found on spinifex sand plains and produces large pink flowers after summer rain. The anaty is a tuber, or swollen root, of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food for the desert people where it can be harvested at any time of the year. Some can be found as big as a person’s head.

In her paintings, Jeannie depicts the seed of the

anaty (dot work), and the anaty flower

(brush work and beautiful colours).

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