Namarnde Devil

The artist has painted a Namarnde Devil, one of many types of Mimi spirits that inhabit the sandstone escarpment country of western Arnhem Land. Mimis are the original spirit beings. According to the Kunwinjku people of western Arnhem Land, they existed before humans and taught them everything they needed to know – ceremonies, dance, song, hunting and all bush skills. These spirits continue to live in rocks, trees, and caves in the stone country, but are rarely seen by humans. They are frequently seen in rock art around Oenpelli as small dynamic figures. Most Mimis are regarded as being mischievous but not threating to humans, unlike the Namarnde Devil depicted in this painting which is considered slightly ‘cheeky’, or dangerous.