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Spelling and naming

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route

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

Spelling and naming

Rosie Williams and Muni Rita Simpson begin their painting at Kilykily (Well 36).
Rosie Williams and Muni Rita Simpson begin their painting at Kilykily (Well 36). Photo: Tim Acker, 2007.


The 10 languages represented in the stories of Yiwarra Kuju are closely related and share many similar words. Each has its own unique spelling system (or orthography) and although most share similar spellings, there are some noticeable variations between them. Throughout the text, words that are commonly spoken or understood by these different language groups follow the dominant spelling systems used by the majority.

These issues also concern artists' names. The names the artists go by in their public life are different from the names they themselves use in their everyday lives. Galleries and art centres commonly use only part (often the English part) of a person's name.

In the catalogue and on this website, artists' names follow recognised art world conventions when used in reference to their paintings.

In artist biographies, however, the full names (and correct spellings) are employed for broader reference. Where art world names are a variation on the spelling of individuals' traditional or 'bush' names, the bush name spellings appear in brackets, e.g. Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi.

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