Wondjina Painting is an Traditional Artform of the Kimberley in Western Australia. It is a tradition that is at least a couple of thousand years old and Wandjina painting was traditionally done as Rock art by initiated Aboriginal men of the Worrorra, Wunambal, and Ngarinyin people.
Wondjina are the creator beings of the Dreaming. They made the world and all that it contains. They are found in many rock art sites in rock shelters throughout the Kimberley. In aboriginal tradition the actual Wondjina beings themselves became the wondjina painting and these Wondjina painting are repainted so the power of the beings is not lost.
If you have a Wondjina painting on Bark Canvass or composite board or even cardboard to sell please contact me. If you just want to know what your Wondjina painting is worth to me please feel free to send me a Jpeg because I would love to see it.
Wondjina rock art paintings are usually painted as full-length, or head and shoulder, figures, either standing or lying horizontally. Their large mouthless faces feature enormous black eyes flanking a beak-like nose. The head is usually surrounded by a band with outward radiating lines. Elaborate head-dresses are both the hair of the Wanjinas and clouds. Long lines coming out from the hair are the feathers which Wanjinas wore and the lightning which they control. Wanjina ceremonies to ensure the timely beginning of the monsoon wet season and sufficient rainfall are held during December and January, following which the rains usually begin (Source: Western Australian Museum).
Aboriginal people of the Kimberley believe that if the Wondjina are offended then they will take their revenge by calling up lightning to strike the offender dead, or the rain to flood the land and drown the people, or the cyclone with its winds to devastate the country. These are the powers which the Wondjinas can use.
Since the 1930’s the Kimberley people have been painting Wondjina painting on bark for anthropologists. In the late 1960’s / early 1970’s Wondjina painting were made commercially. initially they were painted on bark and composite board but since the 1980’s were painted on canvass. Wandjina as rock art still abound in the Kimberley region.
Major Kimberley Wondjina Painting Aboriginal Artists include
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