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


Ngura (Country)



Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams


1952 – Mar 2019

Language group: Pitjantjatjara, Southern Desert region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Mimili South Australia Australia
    Cultural origin
    Pitjantjatjara/Southern Desert region
    Media categories
    Installation , Painting
    Materials used
    acrylic, ink and acrylic marker pen on canvas mailbags with kulata (spear) made from punu (wood), malu pulyku (kangaroo tendon) and kiti (resin made from mulga leaf resin)
    116.0 x 142.0 x 2.0 cm :

    a - Mailbag, 118 x 75 cm

    b - Mailbag, 118 x 75 cm

    c - Spear, 201 cm

    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. "Mumu Mike Williams". Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors tour to Central Australia 2017
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © the artists/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Wynne Prize
    - 2017
    Artist information
    Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Kunmanara (Willy Muntjantji) Martin

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Sammy Dodd

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams' recent collaborative works makes a bold statement about land possession. Painted on Australia Post mail bags, he capitalises on the potential offered by the existing text on the bags: ‘Theft or misuse of this bag is a criminal offence penalties apply’. Williams' shifts this message through direct comments in Pitjantjatjara that highlight rights to Country that have not been respected. On its reverse, Kunmanara (Willy Muntjantji) Martin has painted his Tjukurpa (Sacred Law and Culture) which documents an innate attachment to Country, and his rights to Country. Suspended by a kulata (spear) made by Sammy Dodd, the work makes a poignant statement about legal rights and the maintenance of Law.

    The Pitjantjatjara text states:
    'Australia: Open your ears and listen/
    This has always been Aboriginal Land/
    You must never steal our Tjukurpa (law and culture)/
    Theft or misuse of this manta (Land) is a criminal offence, penalties apply'

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams

Other works by Kunmanara (Willy Muntjantji) Martin

Other works by Sammy Dodd