What is this word Milpirri?

Milpirri is based on the Ngapa Jukurrpa (Rainstorm dreaming) of Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick’s family: ‘the rain cloud spirit saw the smoke from a large fire in the distance and liking the smoke he travelled to it. When he arrived he joined with it to make the big rainstorm cloud’ says Steve.

The Milpirri cloud is also called an Anvil-Headed Cumulonimbus cloud. It is created when the hot desert air travelling upwards combines with the cold air dropping down. When a Milpirri cloud forms people know that a big storm is being made. That storm is full of thunder and lightening. But it also drops rain which creates new growth and food for everyone.

For Jampijinpa this dreaming is a metaphor for the potential interaction between Indigenous and non-indigenous people, when ‘two different things come together to create something different and something that is so precious’, he says.

We must be aware of the conflict of two different things coming together, and work through the differences, knowing that the new growth is coming as a result of the combination.