An image of Bilwoyinj site

Samuel Namunjdja

(Australia 1965 – May 2018)

Mankorlod, Arnhem region
Language group
Kuninjku, Arnhem region

Bilwoyinj site

Other titles:
Wind dreaming
Not on display
Further information

The artist has painted kunkurra, the spiralling wind associated with several sites in the Kardbam clan estate. On one level, this painting can be interpreted as a depiction of the mini-cyclones common during the wet season in Arnhem Land, where the artist lives. Kunkurra also relates specifically to a site called Bilwoyinj, near Mankorlod, on Namunjdja's clan estate. At this site, two of the most important Kuninjku creation beings, a father and son, known as the Nakorrkko, hunted and ate a goanna. They left some of the goanna fat behind, which turned into the rock that still stands there today.

The word 'Bilwoyinj' - the name of this site - also refers to the goanna fat. The Bilwoyinj site is also a ceremonial ground for Yabbadurruwa, a major ceremony owned by the Yirridjdja patrimoiety. The Yabbadurruwa ceremony is primarily concerned with initiation, land ownership and promoting the cyclical regeneration of the human and natural worlds.

from Hetti Perkins et al., 'Crossing country: the alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004

Place of origin
Mankorlod, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Bark painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
143.0 x 75.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2004
Accession number
© Samuel Namunjdja. Licensed by Copyright Agency