Milpirri Banner - NGAPA KURLPURLURNU (Rain at Kurlpurlurnu)

Milpirri Banner - NGAPA KURLPURLURNU (Rain at Kurlpurlurnu)


Ngapa (Rain) at Kurlpurlurnu. The semi cirle with many curved lines represents the fire, the long curved lines are running water, or flood water, the short parallel lines are clouds, the many “c” shapes are people sitting down waiting for the fire.

Belonging to Skin Groups

Jangala, Jampijinpa, Nangala and Nampijinpa (Blue Group)



See the location of Kurlpurlunu 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 up north. - Map

Drawn By

Jerry Jangala Patrick in Lajamanu, 2005

Artist Profile

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 Granfather’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. 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

Read more of Jerry Jangala’s life story in Stories from Lajamanu (NT Department of Education, Darwin 1985) - Story


In Lajamanu, speak with Jerry Jangala. (Other Traditional Owners are in Yuendumu and Ali Curung such as Joe Bird Jangala).

The search for Kurlpurlunu

Kurlpulrunu is a major rain making site for Warlpiri people. Its location was lost for many years.  Numerous searches were conducted by various organisations, some extremely extensive involving helicopters, light planes and 4wds. The site remained hidden until 2016 when Molly Tasman Napurrurla led a chopper and film crew to the site. 

Read the story of the search for Kurlpurlunu - Story

Ngapa Jukurrapa film

PAW media from Yuendumu and Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick created a film about Ngapa dreaming. It follows the journey of Steve Jampijinpa Patrick (Jerry Jangala’s son) to discover the secrets of Warlpiri rain making which are in the Dreaming story. This film crew was present when Kurlpurlunu was located. 

Read about the PAW media and Steve Jampijinpa Patrick film about Ngapa dreaming - Story

Read more about Steve Jampijinpa Patrick - Story

Further Reading

In April 1996 nine Australian artists journeyed into the centre of Australia, seven were the traditional owners of this country from Lajamanu and two were white artists from Tracks Dance Company. Together with an oral historian from the Northern Territory Archives they followed the 2000 km Ngapa Jukurrpa (the Rainstorm Dreaming) path, a pathway of sacred sites that connect Alice Springs to Darwin. Later that year members of the party regrouped in Darwin to tell their story of the journey through performance. This engrossing, moving and comic performance was divided into two sections. In the first Act, the men created a traditional sand painting while the women painted up and danced sacred song cycles related to the Ngapa Jukurrpa. The second act was a re-enactment of the journey.

Read more and see photos from Ngapa - Two Cultures One Country - Photos / Story


Jerry Jangala leading on male performers for Milpirri 2014. Photo Peter Eve.
Jerry Jangala Patrick drew the design for this Ngapa (Rain) at Kurlpurlurnu banner. Photo Peter Eve 2014.
Jerry Jangala Patrick leading the Emu dance in Milpirri 2007. Ashley Jampijinpa Watson following. Photo Peter Eve.
Steve Jampijinpa Patrick (Creative Director of Milpirri) talking about Milpirri in Lajamanu forum 2009. Photo Peter Eve.
The sand painting from Ngapa - Two Cultures One Country performance. A project that began by following a section of the Ngapa dreaming path. (l-r) David McMicken, Tim Newth, Jimmy Jampijinpa Kelly (dec), Henry Jakamarra Cooke, Steve Jampijinpa Patrick. Photo Yoris Wilson 1996

Tracks Dance Company Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Tracks Inc is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

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