This painting depicts the underground waterholes (represented by the circles) that Janet’s ancestors found and drank from in the dry seasons in the central desert areas of Australia.
The large circle in the middle represents the spring where the people used to dig for water (Ngapa). The smaller circles represent the underground water creek bed where the water flows after the rains (soakage) and seeds represent the foods that grow in the area.
They used to walk around with a wooden bowl (Coolamon) and dig then fill with clean water when they needed it. Once the underground water was found, after drinking from it they would cover it up with branches, leaves and charcoal to limit exposure to the elements such as the Sun and wildlife. Then they would come back to the waterhole the next day and the water would be very clear. When the waterhole dried up, they would move on to the next one and gather their water there.
Each roundel represents a significant site where ceremonies were performed, which included chanting, singing and dancing actions to invoke the Ancestral Beings to ensure rain.