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Paddy (Jampin) Jaminji

Krill Krill Ceremony Dance Board (Cyclone Tracy) - 1979

natural earth pigments on construction board
40 x 69 cm
Price Realised: $6,710.00

MP #619


Provenance

Neil McLeod, field collected, Kimberley, WA
Burrinja Gallery, Vic
Private Collection, Tas

Note verso reads: Krill Krill Rover Thomas Cyclone 1979. (I understand this to be the Cyclone Tracy dreaming of Rover Thomas that formed part of his Krill Krill ceremony. The image was painted at the direction of, and with the approval of Rover, and was used as a ceremonial dance board that was not originally intended for sale.)

Reference

Cf. Ryan J. Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne 1993 p. 38; for a closely related example depicting the same subject matter and from the same period in the collection of the National Museum of Australia Canberra.

40 x 69 cm (irregular)
55 x 83 cm (frame)

Painted by Paddy Jaminji with the instruction of his nephew Rover Thomas, this work is representative of Cyclone Tracy. Ngumurliwarra – the Gidga word for Cyclone – can be literally broken down and translated as Ngumurli, meaning 'Dark', and Warra, meaning 'Growing'.

During the Wet Season, immediately after Cyclone Tracy destroyed the city of Darwin in 1975, Rover Thomas had a dream relating to the death of a Gidja woman who lived at Dunham River, an Aboriginal-run pastoral station 90 km north of Turkey Creek. The woman had been travelling from Dunham River to Hall's Creek the previous Wet Season. The vehicle she had been travelling in overturned and slid off the road at a small creek just south of the Aboriginal settlement at Turkey Creek.

Rover's dream explains the cause of her death and tells of the travels of her spirit back to the place where she was born. This relates to traditional sites of specific importance to people now resident at Turkey Creek. Rover's dream was incorporated into a song-cycle (Krill-Krill) by Rover Thomas and George Mung Mung. Paddy Jampinji, Rover's classificatory uncle, drew the paintings for the first ceremonies in the mid 1970s using recycled construction wood and traditional materials. The boards were carried on the shoulders of the participants in the ceremony. Each painting represents a specific location or event connected with the travel of the woman's spirit.