Nawaran – Oenpelli Rock Python story
Nawaran – Oenpelli Rock Python story


The nawaran is a rare snake that is only found in the Oenpelli region. Non-indigenous Australians first discovered it in the 1970’s. It is greyish in colour with distinctive marking making it easy to identify. The nawaran is a non-venomous snake that can grow to massive lengths. It is able to dislocate its jaws enabling it to swallow prey much larger than itself.
This story comes from counrty near Markarrlarrl, in Arnhem Land, called Kudjaborrk.
Ngalyangdo (mother) of Bellinj skin and her son of Bangardi skin were in the stone counrty hunting with their two duruk, Nabokarnwowk (male) and Kukalal (female). They came across a nawaran (Oenpelli rock python) and thinking it an ordinary snake killed it and roasted it on the fire and they both ate it. Unknowingly they had just killed a sacred dreaming nawaran. Moments later many nawaran came down from the stone escarpment and attacked and killed the mother and son as punishment for killing the nawaran.

Nahni  bim kayolyolme nayin Nawaran kore kunred Markarrlarrl darnkih kudjaborrk.Ngalyangdoh ngalbadjan Belinj (Ngalkamarrang) dja nayaw Bangardi (Nakamarrng) benewam benewarlbom benehkani duruk bokenh berrewoneng narangem ngeyoy Nabokarnwowk dja ngadaluk ngeyoy Kukalal.benewam benenang nayin nawaran yimankek beneyimeng nayin duninjh.Benebom beneworrhmeng kunak benewilkdi benenguneng dja benewakwani nakka benebom nawaran djang.Wanjh benehni benenang nawern nawaran kumbebmerrinj kaddum kuwardebeh bindibayeng benedoweng bokenh ngalbadjan dja nayaw.Dja benebom nawu nayin Nawaran Djang.

Size 41 x 61 cm; ochre on arches paper | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 6259-19 | Year 2019

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 41 x 61 cm; ochre on arches paper
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 6259-19
Year 2019