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Kay Lindjuwanga: Milmilngkan 2016


  • No.:RK1564
  • Medium:Natural Ochres on Bark
  • Size:123 × 71 cm
  • Year:2016
  • Region:Arnhem Land (West)
  • Art Centre:Maningrida Arts
  • Status:

John Mawurndjul and wife Kay Lindjuwanga live at Milmilngkan, near a billabong, and say that underneath the water lies the power of Ngalyod. In this painting, Kay depicts the power of the place with rarrk (cross-hatching) which contains Mardayin power.

Kay has depicted the Milmilngkan place where Ngalyod (the rainbow serpent) resides under the water. Kuninjku people say there are two Rainbow serpents. One is Yingarna, who is said to have been the original creator of all ancestral beings, the ‘first mother’. Yingarna’s first born is Ngaloyd. Yingarna, or her son Ngalyod, are a common subject on contemporary Kuninjku bark paintings.

Ngalyod is very important in Kuninjku cosmology and is associated with the creation of all sacred sites, djang, in Kuninjku clan lands. For example, ancestral stories relate how creator, or ancestral beings, had travelled across the country and had angered Ngalyod who swallowed them and returned to the earth to create the site. Today, Ngalyod protects these sites, and its power is present in each one.

Ngalyod has both powers of creation and destruction and is most strongly associated with rain, monsoon seasons and rainbows which are a manifestation of Ngalyod’s power and presence. Ngalyod is associated with the destructive power of the storms and with the plenty of the wet season, being both a destroyer and a giver of life. Ngalyod’s power controls the fertility of the country and the seasons.

Bark paintings do adapt to room temperature and humidity. Tiny hair cracks are inherent in the nature of the material.
Special provisions apply to this artwork. Reproductions of the artwork and its story in part or in whole in any form require the permission of the artist. We are only too happy to be of assistance in this matter.