Milpirri Banners Home Page 2018

Lajamanu, North Tanami Desert, Northern Territory, Australia

In 2005 a series of sixteen, three-metre high banners were created as the backdrop to the first Milpirri performance. In 2012 another eleven banners were added. The banners are like a set of family coat of arms to the Warlpiri people of Lajamanu; individuals are able to identify which banner belongs to them as they represent their family's dreaming symbol.

In 2018 we researched and gathered information contained within the context of the banners. Through a consultation process led by anthropologist Miles Holmes, we talked to families and elders about the banner designs and their meaning. We checked and crosschecked information, we looked at dreaming designs, and we made links to knowledge gathered by other linguists, anthropologists and researchers who have worked in Lajamanu over the past decades.

Below you can explore the Milpirri banners. Enjoy clicking on the red highlighted words and you will be carried away into a richly Warlpiri Australia.

Warning: This website contains images and names of people who have passed away.

30 Year Relationship

Since 1988 Lajamanu and Tracks artists have been working together. The relationship has produced performances which have become an iconic part of the place and company, and the Milpirri performances are a prime example of this. The ongoing relationships built over this time are trusted and heartfelt. The 2018 Banner Project celebrates this 30 year relationship.  

Watch this short edit of the documentary "Winds of Change" and learn about the Making of Milpirri performance.

Explore 30 years of Lajamanu and Tracks collaborations and performances.

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 significant to the Warpiri men (predominantly Ngapa (water) dreaming designs) onto a tank outside the Wulaign Outstation Centre. Jangala would paint the design in black and Tim would outline that in colour.

In 1992 for the first Lajamanu/Tracks performance in Darwin 'Lajamanu Kurra Karna 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 is now recognised as the basis for the Milpirri banner designs, even though the first Milpirri performance happened over half a decade after Jangala sadly passed away.

Read Freddy Jangala Patrick's biography.

Read about and see the first Lajamanu murals.

See the three banners from the performance Lajamanu Kurra Karn Yani.

Thank you

For your imput and support in 2018: Henry Jakamarra Cook, Lesley Jampijinpa Robertson, Jerry Jangala Patrick, Jeffrey Jakamarra Matthews, Dion Jangala Kelly,  Mark Jupurrula Stephenson, Steven Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick, Lynette Napangardi Tasman, Myra Nungarrayi Herbert, Molly Napurrurla Tasman, Margaret Nungarrayi Martin, Annette Nampijinpa Patrick, Andrew Japanangka Johnson, Daniel Jupurrula Rockman, Willy Japanangka Johnson, Warnayaka Arts Centre, North Tanami Rangers, Central Lands Council, Chris and Noelene Murray and Melissa Beit (for your editing).

Company Partners

Tracks Inc is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

Project Partners

Building Better Regions Fund

Supporting Partners

Western Desert Dialysis

Tracks 2018

Artistic Co-Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Company Director: Adelaide Wood
Administrator: Jessica Mellor
Production Manager: Duane Preston
Dance Animateur: Kelly Beneforti
Bookkeeper: It Figures

Committee Members: Mary Durack (Chairperson), Glenn Bernardin (Treasurer), Michael Grant, David Taylor, Ken Conway, Venaska Cheliah. David McMicken, Tim Newth, Adelaide Wood (Ex-Officio Members)

Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Ippei Okazaki

Patron: Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory

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