Kunmanara (Whiskey) Tjukangku was born in the bush near Umuwa and grew up between Ernabella (at the Ernabella Mission) and De Rose Hill (a cattle station). He soon took on work at cattle stations, droving cattle and working alongside his friends (and future Iwantja Arts painting colleagues) Alec Baker and Peter Mungkuri.
Tjukangku travelled frequently for his stockman’s work but longed to return to his ancestral country and settle with his family there. He was respected leader and played a significant role in the establishment of the Indulkana Community. He was a pioneering artist, as one of the first male painters at Iwantja Arts and the first Iwantja artist to receive widespread recognition and acclaim and hold multiple solo exhibitions. In addition to his artistic practice, Tjukangku was also a highly regarded Ngangkari (Anangu traditional healer).
Tjukangku’s artistic practice was an extension of his immense knowledge of country and his paintings were celebrated for their rawness and integrity, with his works acquired into the collections of significant cultural institutions in Australia.