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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Bilwoyinj site



Samuel Namunjdja


1965 - May 2018

Language group

Kuninjku, Arnhem region


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


Other Title

Wind dreaming



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

Accession number


Artist information

Samuel Namunjdja

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Hetti Perkins and Margie West, One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, Sydney, 2007, 15 (colour illus.).

Hetti Perkins, Crossing country: the alchemy of western Arnhem Land art, Sydney, 2004, 87 (colour illus.), 228-229.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Yiribana: a facelift and a new show', pg. 28-31, Sydney, Jul 2005, 31 (colour illus.).