Wititj-Pythons (Mangrove Snakes)

Ochre on Bark, 1998 60 x 155cm


Tom Djumburpur was a senior artist for Ramingining before he passed away in 2006. In 1987 he was

commissioned to produce hollow logs (funeral poles) for an installation purchased by the national gallery and exhibited as a part of the bicentenary celebrations in 1988. The installation was a memorial to all the

Aboriginal people from Arnhem Land that had passed in the preceding years at the hands of “ïnvaders” and was an important statement in the context of celebrations of the landing of one of these. These are still on display today in the National Gallery in Canberra.

His work on paper and bark uses very fine line work in the raark backgrounds with bolder shapes in the

foreground representing his subjects. In 1997 he was part of a group that participated in print making workshops in Ramingining opening up a new medium for reinforcing law, custom and knowledge in the area. And producing more widely distributable artwork.


Djumburpur painted Wagilag Sisters Creation Story, Wititj- Pythons, Goannas and Bats manifested as Sacred Rocks (triangular motifs), Goyder River rocks, Gulwiri palm and Fresh water.

About Ramingining

Ramingining is a  small remote community of around about 700 people, located in Central Arnhem Land located some 400 kms east of Darwin and nearly 30 kms from the Arafura Sea. The tract of land upon which

Ramingining township is built, is owned by the Djadawitjibi people of the Djinang group. Their principal creative being is Garrtjambal, the Red Kangaroo. Travelling from the south-east in the Roper River region across the mainland and over to Milingimbi, Garrtjambal links all the land-owning groups in the region.


In 2004 there was a an exhibition of work from the community entitled “No Ordinary Place” James Mollison, then Director of the National Gallery of Australia where it is on permanent display described the work as



“The art from Ramingining essentially derives from the travels and journeys of the creative spirits.

Ever dynamic, art from this area is constantly changing and evolving to reveal new forms and new perspectives on the ancient stories. Indeed ancient art forms are also used to tell stories from more recent times.


The Aboriginal Memorial, created in 1988 by 43 artists from Ramingining, is a testament to all Aboriginal

people who died defending their lands against incursion by the British and other invaders. “



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Wititj-Pythons (Mangrove Snakes)”