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Wandjina & Dumbi (cloud and rain spirits & barn owls) - Framed

Gabriella Barunga


  • Year


  • Medium

    Etching on Hahnemuhle paper

  • Size

    57 x 76cm

The Wandjina is the creator spirit that belongs to us: the Woddorddaa, Ngarinyin and Wunumbul people. He is the one that created everything; our culture, law and songs and even the dreaming of each child before they are born. Dumbi is an owl which resides in Ngarinyin country. A boy and a girl teased Dumbi and plucked out his feathers. Dumbi flew to the Wandjina Wodjin who said he would create a large flood to punish the tribe from where the boy and girl came. At a place called Wanalirri, the Wandjina gathered a large flock of brolgas which stomped on a huge black soil plain to create quicksand. The flood came and drowned many people; those who tried to escape were lost in the quicksand. The boy and girl were safe because they were on high ground, they were taken there by a kangaroo, and they travelled on the kangaroo’s tail. A Tata lizard called Ganada warned the Wandjina that the boy and the girl had escaped. The rains and lightning started to chase the boy and girl and they ran to a hollowed out boab tree. Once they were in the tree, the Wandjina closed it up and they were lost forever. In another version of the story the boy and girl survive the flood and mate to produce a new tribe.

Exhibition Artist Gabriella Barunga

  • Born


  • Lives & Works

    Mowanjum Community

Gabriella commenced her career as an artist in 1999 at Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre and of painting she says is “my work and my way of telling a story”.

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Western Australia