Manyitjanu Lennon is from the Watinuma Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara / Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands), 350km South East of Uluru. She was born in the desert and is originally from the north of Watarru, around Aralya and Kunytjanu. She is a highly respected senior elder and holds extensive cultural knowledge.
Manyitjanu married and moved to Fregon (also known as Kaltjiti Community) when it was established in 1961. Fregon is situated in the far northwest corner of South Australia in the APY Lands; it is approximately 1300kms from Adelaide by road. Manyitjanu was involved in the Fregon Choir, helped set up the Fregon Craft room, as well as the Fregon School with Nancy Sheppard.
During her time at Ernabella, she learnt numerous arts and crafts spinning and dying wool, batik tie dying and wool carving (punu). She is currently involved in basket weaving with Tjanpi desert weavers and painting at Kaltjiti Arts. Manyitjanu often paints her mother's country west of Kaltjiti and south of Watarru in South Australia. As Manyitjanu describes the country: 'Mamungari'nya is a long way away. It is over the other side of the sand dunes past Tipilnga, a place where many white trees grow. This is the place where women came and were turned into the white marble gums on the sand dune south of Watarru - this is a tjukurpa story. So, this is Mamungari’nya where lots of little gum saplings and emu bush grow. This is a place of claypans and a women's site.'
As a senior artist at Kaltjiti Arts, Manitjanu also works on major collaborative pieces, which are used to teach younger generations skills in painting technique and storytelling, ensuring rich cultural integrity is maintained. Manitjanu has five children and four grandchildren.