Namorrorddo and the Crippled Man
Namorrorddo and the Crippled Man


This story comes from Coopers Creek area, near Mt. Borradaile, north of Oenpelli in western Arnhem Land. A long time ago a crippled man was living in the area, he had sores all over his body and was blind as well. He had a woman who had been promised to him as his wife but she didn’t like him. She wouldn’t sleep with him, not even for one night and kept running away with her boyfriend. The crippled man had no family, no brothers or sisters. The promised wife’s mother told her to go and stay with him and take fish, sugar bag, yams but she wouldn’t. “I don’t want to go close up because I might get scabies or worse.” All the other people didn’t like him either. The cripple used to sleep a long way from the others, by himself. He was lonely and cried for help. “Can someone help me and give me water or food?” The other people didn’t want him to humbug them so they went off. They said he could stay by himself until he died. But he didn’t die.
Namorrorddo (a malevolent magic man) came to him and brought some water, yams, fish and sugarbag and said “I’ll help you.” The cripple told him “I can’t walk. See, I have sores and flies follow me everywhere”. He crawled to a pond and cleaned himself up with water. Namorrorddo helped him to walk, to see and heal his sores. Namorrorddo said that the man could use his weapons: spears, axe and club. He followed the people who had left him behind to die and killed them all. Then he killed his promised wife and her boyfriend with the club and went to live with Namorrorddo.

Ngalbadjan dja ngalyaw benewam kore mankabo Benenang Namorrorddo karrmihkarrmi nawern djenj Namarnkol djirribi dorrengh.kunyarl kurrurrubom.Ngalbu daluk mey karnnubirr yarldadjkeng wanjh mey kang dja bawong nungan nuye namorrorddo.nawu namorrorddo minj binayinj larrk. Wanjh wam bu borledmeng nang nawu djirribi kunyarl dawh dja nawu nawern daluk mey kang.Wanjh yawoyhdurndi manbolh kore kumwam bennang daluk dja wurdwurd ngalengarre birrihnguni wanjh benbawong wam yimeng kaluk ngurringimen kore kuwarderurrk.Wanjh birriwam kore kuwarderurrk yimeng djuh djuh ngurringimen bu birringimeng mey kunkih burriweng warderurrkbalhmeng dja kunbid nuye marnbom manrurrkyahwurd rurrkni.Wanjh benmarneyimeng ngurringu dja ngurriwokdi kaluk yerre ngurridowen kumekke kuwarderurrk.

Size 41 x 61 cm | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 2016-22 | Year 2022

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Artist  Shaun Namarnyilk

Shaun Namarnyilk is the son of Rita Nadjongorle and Bundy Namarnyilk. Shaun is an experienced artist, tour guide, musician and storyteller. His aesthetic continues to develop, drawing on the ancient rock art stories and styles of Injalak Hill and other rock art sites around Western Arnhem Land. Shaun has also worked as a ranger. While caring for country as a ranger Shaun has had access to many remote and inaccessible rock art sites that few people have had the privilege of visiting in thousands of years. Shaun is inspired by the ancient knowledge and aesthetics of his ancestors to create remarkable contemporary paintings that span subjects from traditional knowledge and sacred spirit beings to current affairs like the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the community of Gunbalanya, as well as the diverse challenges and benefits that living in a remote community presents. Shaun mixes coloured pigments and ochres to create backgrounds which reflect the surface of the rock itself. He is developing the West Arnhem ‘x-ray style’ technique, leaving his canvas out in the rain and continues to build layers, giving his artworks the appearance of the ancient rock art.

One of his grandfather’s is Djawida Nadjongorle, and other one is Spider Namirrikki, along with Jimmy Namarnyilk.

Shaun has previously worked as a ranger, caring for the Stone Country of West Arnhem Land.


further details

Size 41 x 61 cm
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 2016-22
Year 2022