Betty Muffler Australian, Yankunytjatjara, Pitjantjatjara, b. 1944
Betty Muffler, born in country near Watarrunear the border of South and Western Australia, lives and works in Indulkana, SA.Betty Muffler works in Indulkana Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in remote north-west SA.
Betty Muffler is a renowned ngangkari (traditional healer) and senior cultural woman. Betty's artistic practice spans painting and tjanpi (native grass) weaving.A child survivor of the Maralinga bombings, in which she lost her entire family, Betty was rescued by missionaries and raised at the Ernabella mission. Betty learnt her Ngangkaripractise from her aunties, handed down through her father's side.
Alongside a rigorous art practice Betty continues to work extensively with NPY Women's Council and medical practitioners to support Anangu to good health and through times of crisis.
"This is my country, this is ngangkari country -it's healing, it's good. I've travelled everywhere on the APY Lands, sometimes during Marali (spiritual ngangkari travelling) and sometimes just to visit friends. I'm a strong kungka (woman) I survived the bombings at Maralinga, but many of my family didn't. It's a terrible and sad story. We need to heal this country, and give more respect to the land. My painting shows many of the good places in my country."
"I am a Ngangkari, I've got an eagles spirit so I can stay at home here and in my sleep I send my eagle spirit across the desert to look for sick people, then I land next to them and make them better. Ngangkari's can see right through people to what sickness is inside, then they can heal them straight away."
Betty Muffler won the 2017 NATSIAA Award for emerging art, her paintings have been exhibited extensively, and her work is held in significant collections throughout Australia and internationally.