Juntiyi (Junti) Japaljarri was born in the bush before contact with kartiya (non-Aboriginal) people. He grew up hunting with his family before the Native Affairs Branch of the Federal Government established two settlements for Warlpiri people ? Yuendumu in 1946 and Lajamanu (originally called Hooker Creek) in 1949.
Like other Warlpiri people of his generation, Japaljarri was probably brought into Yuendumu, a settlement in Warlpiri country that soon outgrew its water supply. The Government decided to move 25 Warlpiri people against their will to Hooker Creek, situated on the edge of the Tanami Desert in Gurindji territory. These Warlpiri people, cut off from their Dreaming sites and close relatives, walked back to Yuendumu in 1951. That year another 150 Warlpiri were moved there with the same result. Two further resettlements and Aboriginal walk backs to Yuendumu occurred in 1958 and 1968, before Warlpiri residents were prepared to accept Hooker Creek as their home.
Juntiyi began to paint in 1986 when a traditional painting course was set up at the Adult Education Centre, Lajamanu. The artist was an outstanding colourist with a bold, vigorous style. He produced several works on canvas in addition to the paintings on composition board executed as part of the painting course conducted by John Quinn before he passed away in 1987. His painting subjects included lungkarda (blue-tongue lizard), warnayarra (rainbow serpent) and yarla (big yam).
His work was exhibited in Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989 and Art of the Rainbow Snake, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1994.