Seven Sisters (sml)- REGGIE SULTAN: Kaytja - Central Australia SIZE: 65cm x 43cm
ARTIST: Reggie Sultan
LANGUAGE: Kaytja - Alice Springs / Central Desert
TITLE: Seven Sisters
MEDIUM: Painting - acrylic on canvas
The Story of the Seven Sisters
When you look towards the sky at night, you can see the Milky Way and the seven stars that are the Seven Sisters. This Aboriginal legend has been told as a dreamtime story by the elders, passed on to each younger generation.
One night the Seven Sisters decided to visit earth, so they followed the Milky Way until they came to earth near a creek. As they stepped off the Milky Way they turned into people. They wandered around the red soil country until they came upon seven Aboriginal hunters sitting in a circle around a waterhole. The hunters noticed them and called them over. “Here, are you hungry?” said one of the hunters, “have a feed and drink of water”.
The Seven Sisters thought they looked friendly so they walked over to them. The hunters said, “we will show you around our country” – all the bush fruit and animals. One of the Seven Sisters said “we can only stay for one day, when the sun goes down we have to go into the sky, so all the people on earth can see us”. They took them all over the country and showed them the kangaroos, emus, snakes, bush fruit, creeks and waterholes. They picked the bush berries and bush bananas and placed them in their coolamons.
The sun was low and the sisters told the hunters that they will have to return to the sky and become stars again. The hunters were very sad and did not want them to go.
Night time came and the Milky Way returned to earth. “We must go now”, said one of the sisters as they were running towards the Milky Way. “Stop, stop” said the hunters, but the sisters ran towards the Milky Way and climbed on. One of the hunters grabbed hold of the hand of the seventh sister pulling her back, begging her not to go. With tears in her eyes she said, “ I have to go and be with my sisters, but one day I will return and see you again”.
This is why when you look at the Seven Sisters in the night sky you can see a star which is the seventh sister trying to catch up with her sisters.
Reggie was born in Alice Springs in 1955. He learnt his art of other artists near the Todd River and Chinaman’s Creek. Reggie first began adopting an Albert Namatjira style of painting around the mission block stores. Since 1985 Reggie has become a professional artist after working on cattle stations. He started experiencing the dot-dot painting in his mother’s country of Barrow Creek and Neutral Junction. He uses Aboriginal symbols to express some family stories and uses many other symbols showing his own experiences of the bush, including his famous Bush-tucker gathering stories and paintings series. Reggie recently held a successful exhibition in Darwin. He has also published two books, biographical “An Uncontrollable Child” and “The Seven Sisters” - the story of the Milkyway dreaming in the desert.
See Reggie Sultan's Collections page for more details on the artist and other paintings for sale.