Muluymuluy Wirrpanda

Homeland: Dhuruputjpi
Clan: Dhudi-Djapu
Moiety: Dhuwa


Muluymuluy was the winner of the 2023 National Emerging Art Prize for Emerging First Nations Artists

Muluymuluy’s paintings depict, Bol’pu; woven dilly bag. The age old practice of weaving baskets from the leaves of Pandanus continues today. Making them is very labour intensive. The conical woven basket is a sacred form which has ceremonial metaphoric meaning. It is also the age old form which Yolŋu have always used as a receptacle for important possessions and gathered food. These baskets can be so closely woven that they can even contain liquids if sealed with beeswax. In ceremony can be adorned with feathers and take on a sacred character. There are feminine references in this form. Following the loss of her mother Djurrayun Murrinyina stopped painting the lilies of Garrimala which had made Ms. M. Gumana famous. This convention is part of the disciplines of spiritual hygiene which are so crucial to Yolŋu mortuary customs. Anything which impedes the progress of the departing spirit is forbidden. Nothing can be done which would endanger the eventual return of that soul back to the family of the living.

She was the young wife of Wakuthi Marawili. Wakuthi was one of the oldest men in Arnhem land. He was known as Banbay – “Blind one” because of his poor eyesight. He passed away in 2005. His sons Djambawa and Nuwandjali have a large role in the day-to-day management of the large Maḏarrpa clan homeland, Yilpara. Muluymuluy has worked with them in her art as well as under Wakuthi’s direction to produce important Maḏarrpa clan paintings.

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