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Sound and vision

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future

Warning: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Sound and vision

'Jardiwarnpa – a Warlpiri fire ceremony', 1993

Jardiwarnpa re-enacts the world-making journeys of Yarripiri, the snake that travelled north into Warlpiri country. Warlpiri perform this ceremony to resolve conflicts and release widows from long periods of mourning.

Warlpiri people inherit responsibilities from their parents as either kirda (owners) or kurdungurlu (managers) of particular Dreamings and places. These complementary responsibilities lie at the heart of the Warlpiri world order.

In Jardiwarnpa, individual kirda perform the actions of their ancestors under the supervision of kurdungurlu. Kirda also become the focus of perceived present-day wrongdoings within the community, and so are punished by the kurdungurlu who symbolically 'burn' them in a  spectacular climax.

Just as fire is widely used to look after country, it also serves to ritually cleanse and reinvigorate the community.

Footage courtesy City Pictures, Warlukurlangu Artists Association and PAW Media. Duration: 8:46.

Animations by PAW Media, 2014

The three animations in this video are among the most recent creative productions from Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications, or PAW Media.

In 1983, Warlpiri people established their own media association in Yuendumu and began to record and broadcast their own stories. The Warlpiri Media Association has since grown to become a regional organisation. Now called Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications (PAW Media), it runs a networked radio station, produces feature films and documentaries, and delivers media training and services to many Aboriginal communities across central Australia.

Footage courtesy PAW Media. Total duration: 8:31.