Kedjebe (File snake)
Kedjebe (File snake)


Kedjebe (file snakes, Acrochordus arafurae) are found in freshwater billabongs, rivers and creeks where there are water lilies and mud. They have very loose, rough skin. Here in Gunbalanya, when the water in the billabong starts to drop in the dry season, families would wade out into the water and catch them for food. Since they are immobilised out of water and are not venomous, people can just pick them up and throw them on the bank. The best way to catch the kedjebe is by standing in the water of a billabong or river and feeling around the mud with your feet, and once you’ve found one reach down and pick it up. The traditional way to kill them is to take the head in your mouth, bite and yank down hard breaking their necks. Nowadays there are too many crocodiles in the Gunbalanya billabong, but there are plenty of smaller water bodies where people still catch file snakes.
Kedjebe kayo kore kubowinjku kukku kore manlabbarl mankabo manwanjdjad kore mandem manbardmo dja kunkih kayo. Konda kore ngarrihni Kunbarllanjnja kahboyo korroko bu boyahwurdmeni bukmeni wanjh kohbakohbanj daluhdaluk dja binihbininj dja wurdwurd birrikolungi birridjuhmi birrimangi ngalbu kedjebe. Dja bolkkime larrk minj nangale kadjuhme kinga nawern kahyo kore manlabbarlkimuk kahboyo wardi kanbaye kanbun. Dja bu korroko nawu dabborrabbolk birriburrbuni bu birridjareni birrimangi kedjebe wanjh birrirey kore kahwardeyo kahwardedjuhmiyindi kangeyo Namunurr kumekke birrirey birribirrkani birrimangi ngalbu kedjebe.

Size 31 x 42 cm | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 406-21 | Year 2021

1 in stock

Artist  Don Nakidilinj Namundja

Don is one of Western Arnhem Land’s most senior and respected artists. Don fondly remembers painting in the stone country with some of its most recognized artists including Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek and Kalarriya ‘Jimmy’ Namarnyilk.

Don had his first solo exhibition in 2004. Nicholas Rothwell wrote in the Australian, “By any standards this debut exhibition is worthy of sustained attention in the national media.” The freshness of Don’s paintings prompted the National Gallery of Australia to acquire two works from the RAFT Artspace in Darwin. He was selected for the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin in 2003, 2005, 2006 and more recently in 2014.

Don lives in Gunbanya (Oenpelli) in Western Arnhem Land and can often be found painting under the verandah at Injalak Arts.


further details

Size 31 x 42 cm
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 406-21
Year 2021