Organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection


The Gupa-Djapu’ clan is a Dhuwa clan.

The most important spiritual themes of the Gupa-Djapu’ relate to the travels of the ancestral shark Mäṉa to Wäṉḏawuy, Bol’ŋu (the Thunderman) and the ancestral turtle hunt at Balana.  

Their homeland Waṉḏawuy is a village where two tributaries enter the Gurriyalayala River. Another homeland center is Balaypalay, a coastal community with rocky outcrops.

The Gupa-Djapu’ clan speaks Dhuwal.

Woŋgu Munuŋgurr was a Gupa-Djapu’ leader and artist who guided the clan through their earliest encounters with Europeans. His sons were artists Natjiyalma, Mawunbuy, and Mäma. Woŋgu and his sons were part of the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit that protected Arnhem Land in World War II.

Milkayŋu Munuŋgurr was a yiḏaki (didjeridu) player in the band Yothu Yindi. Among Woŋgu’s younger sons, Djutjadjuta Munuŋgurr was an important patriarch who played a decisive role in the revival of monumental bark paintings at Yirrkala in 1994. His children Minyapa, Meŋa, Marrnyula and Rerrkirrwaŋa are all successful artists.

The consulting curators from the Gupa-Djapu’ clan for this project were Wäka and Marrnyula Munuŋgurr.