Three Tribes, Wodoi & Jungun (spotted nightjar & owlet nightjar), 2021


  • 48cm x 49cm x cm
  • 2021
  • Ochre on canvas
  • Catalog No: 2254-21-0015
  • The three tribes are the Worrora, Wunumbul and Ngarinyin, they represent the Wandjina. The three tribes are from the North Kimberley region of Western Australia. The area that makes up the three tribes starts from Oobagooma which is 150km north off the coast of Derby, east across towards inland to Iminji and all the way up to Kalumburru. The tribes have travelled, moved and lived together. They share similar stories, culture and language with different dialects. They still follow the Law, Culture and Language of the land today carrying it on strong and sharing. Wodoi and Jungun are two birds which represent the two skin types or moieties to which all Wandjina people belong. Wodoi and Jungun were fighting over sugar bag (bush honey). Jungun hit Wodoi and the blood from Wodoi flowed crimson and is represented by red ochre. Wodoi then retaliated and struck Jungun whose blood was much paler and is represented by white ochre. Both birds then realized that their fighting was pointless and shared the honey. All the while the Wandjinas were watching and passed this story on to the people to show that different tribes can get on together. Today at Mowanjum the law of Wodoi and Jungun is still very strong. A Wodoi person must always marry someone from the Jungun moiety and vice-versa. In this way the people believe that the bloodlines will stay strong and help keep the spirit of the Wandjina alive.
  • Painting
  • Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre