The Wandjina are ancestral spirits who created country, people and animals in the north-west Kimberly before turning themselves into rock paintings. They are sometimes called 'lightning man' or 'rainmaker' and every year they replenish waterholes, creeks and rivers through making the wet season. The Wandjina can be vengeful if people break the law, by making savage storms and cyclones.
The predominant white colouring and shape of the Wandjina’s body represent water and clouds which are sometimes offset by the use of a red pigment, representing blood, that shows us that the Wandjina are partly alive. The roundels and dots represent the rocky country and rough cave walls where the Wandjina are painted. Large eyes show association with the Dumbi (owl). Other imagery includes Ungud (the rainbow snake) and the long-neck turtle.
Courtesy of Kira Kiro Art Centre