Nyilpirr Spider Snell

"There is only one jila, Kurtal is the name of my jila. There is only one jila, Wangkajunga jila. It is in desert country. For a long time the old people in the early days, in the Ngarrangkarni (Dreamtime), did ceremony here at Kurtal. All the ceremony and law business happened here at Kurtal. I learnt from the old people, all of that business, right here."
Nyilpirr Spider Snell

Nyilpirr Spider Snell is a dancer, visual artist and respected elder for the Kurtal ceremony. He was born around 1930 at Yurramaral, an important jila on the southeastern side of the Cannning Stock Route in the Great Sandy Desert. He came from the desert when he was already a young man and quickly developed strong stockman skills on Christmas Creek Station. 

Nyilpirr was among the 50 artists and claimants who collaborated on the great Ngurrara Canvas prior to National Native Title tribunal hearings in 1997. In 1998, he danced on the canvas at Parliament House in Canberra, ACT. Painting themes depicted in Nyilpirr's work include bush tucker and Dreamtime stories, Kurtal jila (permanent waterhole), Kurraralya, Yirrumarl, Pilalu, Yarriyari and Wijal Wajal near Walpapakal in the Great Sandy Desert.

Courtesy of Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Sadly, Spider passed away in 2016.

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