Maywokka May Chapman

May Chapman (Maywokka) is the sister of Nancy Chapman and Mulyatingki Marney. Her mother was Warnman and her father was Manyjilyjarra. Their country is around Punmu, Kunawarritji and Karlamilyi River. Her father passed away at Karlamilyi.

May and her sisters Nyanjilpayi (Nancy Chapman) and Mulyatingki Marney lived between Punmu and Kunawarritji and later travelled south into Karlamilyi (Rudall River). She was travelling around Karlamilyi with her sisters when they first saw whiteflies. They saw a plane flying overhead and were scared and hid under the spinifex.The whitefellas were riding horses with Martu people who were already living at Jigalong mission. For a time, men from May's family would do seasonal work at the stations around Jigalong but they always went back to see their families.

In 1966, May's family decided to walk to Balfour Downs because there was no one left in the desert. The Balfour Downs station manager contacted Jigalong mission and the mission staff came to pick them up. May lived for many years at Jigalong mission and then took her 5 children to live at Warralong, where she now lives with her daughter Doreen.

May began painting in 2007, and continues to paint both in Warralong, and when she is visiting relatives in Punmu.

Photograph courtesy and copyright Tobias Titz.

Photo of Maywokka May Chapman

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