Naminapu Maymuru-White

(Australia 20 Jul 1952 – )

Djarrakpi, Arnhem region
Language group
Manggalili, Arnhem region

Nyapililngu Wapitja

Not on display
Further information

This print is a triptych and was first produced in a black and white format in 1989. The reduction method of printing used for this colour version means that the original 1989 blocks have been destroyed in the colour printing process. The layers of coloured ink on the surface of the paper have been built up to resemble the complex layers of paint on a bark painting; hence giving the print an extremely strong appearance.

Part a - Nyapilingu, the subject of this print, is the most important female ancestor of the Mangalili clan. The Wapitja is the sacred digging stick carried by Nyapilingu and forms the inner shape of this print.

Part b - The cross represents the string that Nyapililngu spun out of possum fur and wore; it also symbolises how important she was. The horizontal lines are her 'raki', they represent a line of string.

Part c - The animals represent an important role within the clan, for food, furs and string. The 'raki' is a symbol of their journey of the person who dies and how the spirit will travel.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 1996

Place of origin
Yirrkala, North-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
triptych: colour linoprint (reduction method)
176.0 x 45.0 x 4.5 cm frame :
a - side panel, 46 x 20.8 cm, Image
a - side panel, 59 x 40 cm, Sheet
b - centre panel, 46 x 20.8 cm, Image
b - centre panel, 49 x 40 cm, Sheet
c - side panel, 46 x 20.8 cm, Image
c - side panel, 59 x 40 cm, Sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r. [part 3], pencil "Naminapu Maymuru". Not dated. Part 1 and the centre panel are neither signed nor dated.

Purchased 1996
Accession number
© Naminapu Maymuru-White