Ngkwerle (Wild Tobacco)

Violet Payne Ngale

Artwork Year

30 x 30 cm


acrylic on canvas


Violet paints the story of the wild tobacco or pituri (Nicotiana spp.). In Violet’s language it is called ngkwerlp. This herb has soft leaves and creamy white, trumpet shaped flowers with two-valved seed capsules. Occurring naturally in Central Australia, it is found plentiful in Violet’s home in the Utopia Region, northeast of Alice Springs. The leaf of the plant is picked and chewed by the aboriginal people and can also be used for medicinal purposes. In the olden days, and in some areas today, the seeds would be collected and replanted by the aboriginal people.

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