Ivan Namarnyilk was born in 1972 at Mudgenberri Station which is located within the boundary of Kakadu National Park. Ivan has been painting since the 1990s and is establishing himself as an artist of note. Ivan’s father was Spider Namirrki who was known as a significant artist and important ceremonial man in the Kakadu region. Ivan belongs to the Blaldja clan and his traditional country is Yiminji in West Arnhemland.

Ivan also speaks of the deep knowledge and learning from his uncle Jimmy Galareya. Ivan paints in the natural ochres that he collects and grinds himself.

Namarrkon (Lightning Man)

Namarrkon is the Lightning Man, the source of the fierce tropical storms in Western Arnhem Land during the big wet. During the dry season Namarrkon lives in a billabong not far from Numbuwah, a sacred rock in Western Arnhem Land, only venturing out occasionally to hunt for food around his lagoon. In the wet season Namarrkon lives among the storm clouds, sitting down and watching the people below.

Language Spoken by Ivan in this video is Kunwinjku.

Kunwinjku is the 'main' dialect (largest number of speakers) of the "Bininj Kunwok" group of languages, spoken by around 2000 people in Kakadu National Park and Western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (The name comes from bininj meaning ‘people’ and kunwok meaning ‘language’). Most Kunwinjku speakers live at Kunbarlanja (also spelled Gunbalanya in English format, formerly Oenpelli), but also at outstations such as Mamardawerre, Kumarrirnbang, Kudjekbinj and Manmoyi.

We thank Ivan Namarnyilk and the Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre for their dedication to the translation and preservation of language in the region.

Thank-you to Marrawuddi Arts & Culture, in the heart of Kakadu National Park, is owned and governed by Mirarr Traditional Owners through their representative organisation the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) - https://www.marrawuddi.com.au