We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Bilwoyinj site



Samuel Namunjdja


1965 – May 2018

Language group: Kuninjku, Arnhem region

  • Details

    Other Title
    Wind dreaming
    Place where the work was made
    Mankorlod Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    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
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Samuel Namunjdja/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Samuel Namunjdja

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Samuel Namunjdja

See all 6 works