Skip to content


An image of Lany'tjung - Barama & Gulparemun by Munggurrawuy Yunupingu

Munggurrawuy Yunupingu

(Australia circa 1907 – 12 Apr 1979)

Language group
Gumatj, Arnhem region
Lany'tjung - Barama & Gulparemun
Other titles:
Laindjung, Burruma and Gulparemun Lany'tjung Burruma and Gulparemun
Place of origin
YirrkalaNorth-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
circa 1960
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on bark

141.0 x 57.8 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1960
Accession number
© Estate of Munggurrawuy Yunupingu. licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

There are several clan versions of the Barama-Lany'tjung story. The most important Yirritja moiety ancestors, Barama (Banaidja) and Lany'tjung, emerged from the sacred waterhole in the river at Gangan. They were covered in patterns of mud and waterweeds. Lany'tjung gave language and law to each of the Yirritja clans of northeast Arnhem Land. This knowledge included clan songs, dances and ceremonial objects as well as designs to be painted on the body and the objects. Subsequently, while performing a Ngärra ceremony, Yirritja people called out the sacred name for fire causing the fire on the ceremonial ground to flare up and burn uncontrollably across a huge swathe of Arnhem Land. In the top panel Barama, Lany'tjung and Gulparemun, ancestral beings for the Yirritja moiety, are depicted. The lower panel shows, on the left, a hunter with spear and spear thrower and Yirritja animals which are also depicted on the right with five ceremonial figures.

© Information provided by the artist

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Exhibition history (4)

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1960, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Mar 1961–23 Apr 1961

Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

The Dreamers (2009-10), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 May 2009–15 Aug 2010