Kunj (Kangaroo)
Kunj (Kangaroo)


Various animals and plants have totemic significance to the Kunwinjku people who live in western Arnhem Land in the ‘Top End’ of Australia. The artist has painted kunj or kangaroo, which is the largest marsupial mammal in the area. The kunj is painted in the classic Kunwinjku “x-ray” style with internal organs showing, indicating it’s regarded as game than that of totemic significance. The cross-hatching technique used for the in-fill is called rarrk and is taken from ceremonial body painting designs. Kunj are herbivorous.

When we talk about Kunj (kangaroos) we mean several different kinds of kangaroo: There is the Antilopine wallaroo – we call the male Korlobbarr or Kandakkidj, and the female Kardayh or Karurrken. The common wallaroo we call kalkberd (male) and wolerrk (female); The agile wallaby – kornobolo – we call the male warradjunkal and female merlbbe; And the black wallaroo we call Barrk or Nadjinem for the male, and Djukerre for the female. The kangaroo is an important source of food for us Aboriginal people. We go out into the bush and we hunt kangaroos in the savanna woodland. And we climb into the stone country to hunt the kangaroos that live there. Also we hunt wallabies in the monsoon forests, such as the agile wallaby.

Bu Kunj ngarriyime nakka wanjh nadjalwern nawu kunj Korlobbarr [ Kandakkidj ] nuye ngalbininjkobeng Karndayh [Karuuken ] Kalkberd nuye ngalbininjkobeng Worlerrk Kornobolo Warradjangkal nuye ngalbininjkobeng Merlbbe dja Barrk [ Nadjinem ] nuye ngalbininjkobeng Djukerre.Nahni mayh kunj nakuken bu ngarringun nawu ngarrikukburlerri,Ngarrire manberrk ngarribun nawu kunj manberrkwaken,Kuwarde ngarriwardebidbun ngarribun nawu kunj kuwardewaken,.Kungarre ngarrire ngarribun kunj nawu kungarre kani yiman Kornobolo.

Size 41 x 61 cm | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 1079-21 | Year 2021

1 in stock

Artist  Michael Naborlhborlh

Michael Naborlhborlh grew up in Gunbalanya and is a founding member of Injalak Arts. Michael was one of the original screenprinters at Injalak, working alongside Gabriel Maralngurra, Ted Naborlhborlh, Neville Namarnyilk, Kennedy Girrabul, Harold Nayinggul, Laurie Nadjamerrek and Ray Young. They set up the screenprinting facility with adult educator Wendy Kennedy in a shed across the road from the council office. When the Injalak building was constructed in 1989, they moved over. At this point he also became more heavily involved in painting and began leading tours of Injalak Hill. 
Michael has worked as a ranger for Warddeken at Manmoyi and Kabulwarnamyo. He worked in bushfire prevention and feral pig culling. He then worked with the outstation resource centre Demed, providing support to outstations with activities such as food deliveries, road building and house construction. From 2009 he worked with Earth Connect and Territory Alliance constructing houses in Gunbalanya.  

Michael paints in the classic kunwinjku style of single-line rarrk (hatching) that has been practised on the rock walls of west Arnhem Land for centuries. Michael has a well-honed sense of composition and form, and his meticulous rarrk imparts an almost shimmering quality to his paintings. Michael can be found painting under the verandah at Injalak most days or leading tours up Injalak hill during the dry season. 



further details

Size 41 x 61 cm
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 1079-21
Year 2021