Kun-ngol, by Elizabeth Kandabuma- Bábbarra Women’s Centre


Elizabeth Kandabuma has passed away; the community have asked that her bio not be written. 

Art story

This Kun-ngol design was created in 2006. It depicts certain clouds that signal to people of central Arnhem Land that the end of the wet season is approaching. After months of daily monsoonal rain in Arnhem Land, these clouds are light and fluffy, not like the dark heavy clouds of the monsoonal sky.

At the time of the Kun-ngol clouds, people know the country will soon dry up and the cold season (dry season) will arrive. When the Kun-ngol clouds appear, all of the billabongs are already filled, the rivers are high and the country is brimming with life and fresh new growth after months of fresh water pouring from the sky.

Art Centre

Elizabeth’s Kun-ngol design is hand screen-printed by the women at Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Maningrida. Bábbarra is a big billabong near Maningrida with strong dreaming stories; it also means ‘young girls/women’.

Bábbarra Women’s Centre was originally established as a women’s refuge in 1983. It is made up of women from more than 12 language groups in the Maningrida region. The Bábbarra women founded Bábbarra Designs in 1989 – a social enterprise where artists design and handprint textiles that tell the ancestral stories of their Arnhem Land country and cultures.

“People tell us our designs are bold and elegant, but for us they are more than designs: these designs tell the stories of our lives. They bring a lot of joy to everyone – to us, our families and our customers alike. Working creatively with Bábbarra designs is a way for us to achieve financial independence, for our community and the next generations”

Bio provided by Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Read more and shop Bábbarra art and textiles at: www.Bábbarra.com