Murnubbarr Karrolka (flying magpie geese), by Dora Diaguma - Bábbarra Women’s Centre

Artist - Dora Diaguma

Dora is a Kuninjku woman from Maningrida, in Western Central Arnhem land. Her moiety is Yirritja, and her skin name is Kodjdjan. Her homelands are Mandilbarrang and Kujdekbin. Dora started work at Babbarra Designs in 2007. Due to ill health she is now based at home. Dora’s designs often depict her Djang (ancestral dreaming stories) and native flora and fauna, such as her popular design Murnubbarr (magpie goose).

Art story

Dora created this design in 2003. Murnubbarr  (magpie geese) are a waterbird found in abundance in the wetland areas of Kakadu and western Arnhem Land.

Murnubbarr are a sustainably hunted and enjoyed manme (bush food). They are known to fly long distances, particularly in the wet season.

Art Centre

Dora’s magpie goose design is hand screen-printed by the women at Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Maningrida, which is on the North Central Arnhem Land coast of the Arafura sea. Bábbarra is a big billabong near Maningrida with strong dreaming stories; it also means ‘young girls, or 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 Babbarra designs is a way for us to achieve financial independence, for our community and the next generations”

Photo and bio provided by Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Read more and shop Bábbarra art and textiles at: Bá