Russell Wanapuyngu

Russell Wanapuyngu

My name is Ngadiyali (Russell) Wanapuyngu. I live in Gapuwiyak Community with my sister Lucy and her family. Our dreaming is the Wagilak Sisters and I often paint this story. My homeland is Ngilipitji.

Djardi Ashley the famous painter is my elder brother. I grew up myself, I used to sit with my older brother, Djardi. He used to tell us the stories. I thought “… ah yes I don’t want to lose my culture. I can go Balanda way but I can go back to my law.” He taught me first for ceremony before he taught the Gamanungu (sacred clan designs).

When I was very young my uncle would sing and he would listen when I played yidaki on a hose. He asked my mother about me, “can that little boy play yidaki?” He called me, Burralang, He said, “Can you play for me? Here is a real Yidaki”, he gave it to me. I was very nervous and I played under a blanket I felt so ashamed. But I played it all perfect. My family listened and my Uncle thought I was a grown up player, now I know it (the stories) for many tribes.

Ngilipitji is an important place for us. I can paint the designs for this place, like Larr the stone spear head, my brother showed me. We use these designs for when we make little boys into men. I also paint Yarrpany, the Dhuwa guku (honey)

I am also a ceremony man and sing the song lines for Gandjala the creator ancestor for Wagilak. When there are any Dhuwa ceremonies I will be there.

Ngilipitji

Gapuwiyak : NT

Ngilipitji

1956-12-11

Artworks