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'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.


Footage courtesy City Pictures, Warlukurlangu Artists Association and PAW Media

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.

Animations by PAW Media, 2014

The 3 animations in this video are among the most recent creative productions from Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications, or PAW Media.


Footage courtesy 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.


Download audio and transcripts from special programs presented in conjunction with the Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future exhibition in Canberra.

Drawing life: Warlpiri lines on a changing world

15 October 2014

This public lecture was presented as a curatorial backstory to the Warlpiri Drawings exhibition.

Anthropologist and curator Melinda Hinkson reflected on the process of introducing an important collection of crayon drawings – 6 decades after they were made – to the descendants of their makers. She posed the question, in what ways might the activity of drawing be understood as a vital space for cross-cultural interaction?

Aboriginal artists of the nineteenth century: A celebration

30 September 2014

A symposium celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century by Andrew Sayers.

Many good books are published about Australian art, but few change the way we see and understand it. When Andrew Sayers’ Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century appeared in September 1994, it did just that.

This symposium explored the impact of Andrew’s book, and deepened and extended our understanding of its field. It included a presentation by Warlpiri Drawings curator Melinda Hinkson.

Warlpiri Drawings curator talk

21 August 2014
Museum Friends program

Friends were invited to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Walpiri Drawings exhibition by curator Melinda Hinkson, followed by refreshments in the Friends Lounge.

Warlpiri Art Market Day at AIATSIS

14 August and 15 August
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
(next to the National Museum on Acton Peninsula)

This was a rare opportunity to buy original Aboriginal artworks and support remote communities from the Northern Territory.

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