Jerry Jangala Patrick OAM
Jerry Jikilripa Jangala was born on the 1st of July 1935 at Lirrapuntji on the Lander River north of the Warlpiri community of Willowra. That is his country and he grew up in the bush around there in the traditional way. Jikirrlilypa is Jangala's grandfather’s name as well, and has a special meaning, water dreaming. When the government began to resettle people Jangala's people walked across the Tanami Desert to Willowra. From there they moved to Yuendumu in the early 1940s. Jangala made the journey on foot, while the government moved other people by truck. At that time Yuendumu had bores but there were no houses and all the people from different tribes were together there. Jangala continued to travel through Telegraph Station and Tennant Creek stopping a short while at each place. He went to Newcastle Water and old Wave Hill Station and finally came to Lajamanu around 1948. There were no houses and Jerry Jangala work was clearing to make the settlement and the airstrip. The first buildings were a small clinic and kitchen.
Jangala is a respected elder and Pastor in Lajamanu Community. In 2004 he received an OAM for service to the Indigenous community through the Baptist Union of the Northern Territory.
As well as painting Jangala makes wooden items like boomerangs at the Art Centre. Jangala is a prolific teacher, he is one of the original elders of Milpirri, a founder member of the Kurdiji law and justice committee and the key elder and mentor for the Warlpiri ranger program. Jangala is a highly intellectual and philosophical man. He has also been closely involved with numerous academics where his knowledge has helped promote an understanding of Warlpiri culture.
Source: Brits Art and Promotion with additions by Miles Holmes and David McMicken
Jerry has been the key Elder and Warlpirri Cultural adviser on the Milpirri project, the Milpirri Banner project, and the Milpirri Dances project. He is Steve Wanta Jampijinpa's father. for more information about Lajamanu and Tracks go here