Milpirri Banner - MIKANJI NGAPA (Rain dreaming at Mikanji)

Milpirri Banner - MIKANJI NGAPA (Rain dreaming at Mikanji)

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. 

Ngapa Yawulyu 'Rain dreaming songs' - Video

Belonging to Skin Groups

Jangala, Jampijinpa, Nangala and Nampijinpa (Blue Group)




See the location of the Mikanji spring on the South Tanami IPA. Either click on the "Jukuurpa Yirdiyi Kari-Yardiyi Kari" tab, or change to English and click on the "Jukurrpa map" tab. Look near the road south of Chilla Well. - Map

Drawn By

Leslie Jampijinpa Robertson 2005


Lajamanu Kelly (Norman Jampijinpa Kelly), Lesly Jampijinpa Robertson, Gallagher in Yuendumu.

Artist Profile

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. 

Read some of Lesley’s comments about Kurdiji (on page 6 of this document) - Story

Further Reading

Read about Mikanji in the other Mikanji Milpirri Banner - Photos / Information

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.

Read Freddy Jangala Patrick's biography - Story

Read about and see the first Lajamanu murals - Story / Photos

See three banners from performance Lajamanu Kurra Karna Yani and read about the show - Story / Photos


Lesley Jampijinpa Robertson is the Lajamanu elder who drew this Mikanji Ngapa (Rain Dreaming at Mikanji) design. Photo Peter Eve 2012.
Lesley Jampijinpa Robertson Milpirri performance 2009. Photo Peter Eve.
Norman Jampijinpa Kelly is one of the Kelly family who you could talk to about this dreaming. Jampijinpa (far right) at Milpirri rehearsal 2009 with (l-r) Teddy Jupurrula Morrison, Lesley Jampijinpa Robertson, Joe Japanangka James, Peter Jangala Raymond, Henry Jakamarra Cook. Photo Peter Eve.
Milpirri Artifacts Project. The 2018 Milpirri Jurntu performance theme focuses on artefacts. Tracks in collaboration with the Lajamanu Warnayaka Arts Centre are making sets boomerangs for the men and clap-sticks and dancing boards for the women. Sixteen younger women have been active painting up sets of dancing boards and clap sticks which they will dance with in the 2018 Milpirri performance. They were guided through the process by established female Lajamanu artists. The artifacts designs come from the Milpirri banners. (l-r) clockwise direction: Myra Herbert (bottom left corner), Natalie Napurrurla Ross, Zindzi Nampijinpa Jigili, Deandra Napanangka Burns, Tegan Nangala Patrick, Elizabeth Nungarrayi Ross, Biddy Nungarrayi Long and Sylvannia Nungarrayi Spencer. Photo Anna Spencer.
The Milpirri banners stylistically grew out of a collaboration between Lajamanu elder Freddy Jangala Patrick and Tracks artist Tim Newth. Here Jangala starts a new design on a water tank in Lajamanu. Photo Tim Newth 1989
Three banner backdrops from the performance Lajamanu Kurra Karn Yani, a forerunner to the Milpirri banners. (l-r) all cast including Traditional Yawulyu Dancers: Myra Nungarrayi Herbert (Patrick), Jean Napurrula Birrel, Alice Napaljarri Kelly, Rosie Napurrula Tasman, Judy Napaljarri Walker, Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, Molly Napurrula Tasman, Maggie Napangardi, Maisie Napangardi Granites, Peggy Napaljarri Rockman, Biddy Napanangka Walker. Photo: David McMicken 1992.
Lajamanu water tank including Ngapa (Water/Rain) design. Photo Tim Newth 1996

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