Organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

Djimbaryun Ŋurruwutthun | Sacred Fern Story

Djimbaryun Ŋurruwutthun

Sacred Fern Story, 1942

Dhulwuŋ Dhäwu



More Info

Djimbaryun Ŋurruwutthun was the leader of the Munyuku clan and was closely connected to Woŋgu Munuŋgurr through his mother. This painting was painted for Donald Thomson in September 1942, at the base camp of the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit. It was one of several works, such as Munḏukul Marawili’s Mundukuḻ ga Yirwarra Dhäwu | Ancestral Snake and Fish Trap Story, in which the artists recreated the sacred designs painted on the body during ceremony. Bands at the top and bottom of the painting indicate where these designs would continue over the shoulders and down the legs of participants.

– Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection

Additional Information




Natural pigments on eucalyptus bark

Dimensions (IN)

65 ¾ x 35

Dimensions (CM)

167 x 88.9


Donald Thomson Collection. University of Melbourne, DT000061.



The Munyuku clan belongs to the Yirritja moiety. Major spiritual themes relate to marine life...

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The onset of World War II spurs the formation of the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance...

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About The Artist(s)



Artist Dates


Alternative Names

Djambaryan, Djimbarion, Djimbarjun, Jimnbaryun

Djimbaryun Ŋurruwutthun

The father of Ḏula Ŋurruwutthun and Gambali Ŋurruwutthun, Djimbaryun Ŋurruwutthun was a close associate of Woŋgu Munuŋgurr. As the leader of Woŋgu’s mother’s Munyuku clan, he served as of djuŋgayi (ceremonial manager). In 1942, he painted for Donald Thomson at the base camp of the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit, and in 1947, he produced crayon drawings for the anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt.

Collections Represented

Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia

Donald Thomson Collection, University of Melbourne

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History