Wandjina & Coi Coi (saltwater crocodile) Wororra Tribe, 2020


  • 45cm x 45cm x cm
  • 2020
  • acrylic on canvas
  • Catalog No: 2254-20-0172
  • The words Coi Coi are Wororra for saltwater crocodile. In this painting the artist has demonstrated the relationship between the Wandjina and the artist's Ungud spirit, in this case the saltwater crocodile. The Wandjina spirits are highly respected by the people of Mowanjum: they brought the law, culture and language. The people of Mowanjum believe that the first Wandjina was called Idjair. Idjair lives in the Milky Way and is the father of all Wandjinas. The Wandjina Wallungunda was Idair’s first son; he created the Earth and all life upon it. After he created the first human beings, the Gyorn Gyorn people, Wallungunda traveled back to Idjair to bring back more Wandjinas to give the Gyorn Gyorn people laws to live by. Wallungunda also created Ungud spirits. Ungud spirits often appear in Mowanjum artists' paintings. Every person at Mowanjum has an Ungud or Totem. The Ungud is given before birth by a relative through dreams, and represents a living animal. The most powerful Unguds are two snakes which are deep inside Mother Earth. Along with the Wandjinas these two Ungud snakes help deliver the animal baby spirits to all unborn children. Today every individual has its own animal that belongs to them. The three Wandjinas which represent the three language groups of Mowanjum are Namarali for the Wororra people, Wodjin or Wanalirri for the Ngarinyin people, and Rimijmarra for the Wunambul people. Each family group at Mowanjum has a Wandjina which guides them through their lives. The Wandjinas are most active as cloud spirits during the monsoon period, bringing rain to the entire Kimberley region.
  • Painting
  • Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre