Milpirri Banner - MIKANJI NGAPA (Rain dreaming at Mikanji)
Lajamanu, North Tanami Desert, Northern Territory, Australia.
Dreaming and Design:
Lajamanu elders interpret the small “u” shapes as people lined up on each side sitting down. This could represent the two different rain ancestors fighting at Mikanji. The large curved line is a big rain cloud. This painting might represent the site Mikanji whereas the other Mikanji banner is the dreaming travelling.
Belonging to Skin Groups:
Jangala, Jampijinpa, Nangala and Nampijinpa (Blue Group)
Leslie Jampijinpa Robertson 2005
Lajamanu Kelly (Norman Jampijinpa Kelly), Lesly Jampijinpa Robertson, Gallagher in Yuendumu.
Lesley Jampijinpa Robertson. Jampijinpa’s father’s country was Ngapa Dreaming, but he also has been acting as an elder mentor for the Malikijarra (Two Dog Dreaming) families in the Northern Tanami. Lesley is a strong community leader who has been actively involved in many committees responsible for the governing of Lajamanu. Lesley is a law man and singer and often sings all night for Warlpiri initiation ceremonies. He is a key singer in the Milpirri performance. Jampijinpa is also a founding member of the Warlpiri Law and Justice Group called Kurdiji.
Milpirri Banner Design Style:
The Milpirri banners stylistically grew out of a collaboration between Lajamanu elder Freddy Jangala Patrick and Tracks artist Tim Newth. In 1989 Tim worked with Lajamanu artists on their first public murals. After completion of one with female elders the men decided it was their turn. After much debate Jangala and Tim started painting Dreaming designs (predominantly Ngapa Dreaming designs) on a water tank outside the Wulaign Outstation centre. Jangala would paint the design in black and Tim would outline the design in colour.
In 1992 for the first Lajamanu/Tracks performance in Darwin 'Lajamanu Kurra Karn Yani', Jangala and Tim created the back drop of three banners depicting three key dreaming for the Lajamanu area. The style found within the first men's mural and these three banners clearly are the basis for the Milpirri banners, even though the first Milpirri performance happened over half a decade after Jangala had passed away.