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 | Medium Paper | Catalogue # 5999-18 | Year 2018

1 in stock

Artist  Joey Nganjmirra

Joey Nganjmirra is a storyteller, dancer and cultural ambassador. Amongst the younger generation in Gunbalanya, he is one of those who have taken on the task of carrying on the Stories.
Many of his works are driven by narrative, with figures in different stages of a story compressed into a single scene. Others include strong graphic forms, often overlayed and woven into complex designs. His works are primarily figurative, but the interlocking figures sometimes tend towards abstraction and he also produces abstract works based on ceremonial patterns. A look through his works reveals a broad range of stories and original compositions rivalled by few other artists at Injalak.
His Mamam (maternal grandfather) Mirndabal Manakgu was from Mangardubu, and he has many stories from this area north of Gunbalanya such as Wulwunj.
Joey Nganjmirra is part of a rich artistic family (Nganjmirra) and clan group (Djalama). He is a member of the Karrbarda dance troupe which often performs at festivals as well as local ceremonies. He is the son of Rachael Manakgu and Steven Nganjmirra. 


further details

Size 41 x 61 cm
Medium  Paper
Catalogue # 5999-18
Year 2018