Milminyina Dhamarrandji

Milminyina (pictured above with her granddaughter Dhäŋgaḻ 3) was born in 1960 at Wirrwawuy, near Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula, at the very northeastern tip of the Northern Territory. She is the daughter of Gumatj woman Rrirraliny Yunupiŋu (a daughter of famous artist and politcal figure Mungurrawuy Yunupiŋu), and Gunguyuma Dhamarrandji, an adopted son of Woŋgu Munuŋgurr. Her märi, or mother’s mother’s clan, is Rirratjiŋu, the landowners of Yirrkala, who share many sacred designs with the Djambarrpuyŋu of this area.

The main theme she paints is the crescent shapes of Rulyapa, the saltwater country shared by these two clans. She was taught to paint and weave by her mother, having grown up watching her work. She was educated at Dhupuma College, on her mother’s Gumatj land at Guḻkuḻa, and attended workshops at Wollongong University in printng and etching in 1996. She also painted on ceramics and assisted with Djalu’ Gurruwiwi’s yiḏaki business, paintng on instruments, while residing on Gumatj land at Gunyaŋara’ from the 1990’s, until relocating to her märi land at Yirrkala in 2003 and on to Gälaru in 2006. She has sold paintings on canvas for years and is now expanding her presence and status with bark paintings and Larrakitj (hollow log coffins) at Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka.

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