Wundurri and Jilbirri (bush turkey and termite mound), by Nancy McDinny (Borroloola)


Artist - Nancy McDinny

Nancy McDinny is a Yanyuwa and Garrwa woman, born on Fetrel Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria (NT). Her Aboriginal name is Yukuwal and her skin name is Nangalama.

Nancy is an established artist and a respected keeper of language and cultural knowledge. In her paintings she shares Dreaming stories, and the traditions she learnt from her parents and grandparents, including hunting, fishing, and collecting bush tucker. Nancy is an outspoken advocate for her people and country. She is a major voice in the Frack Free and anti-mining movements; her recent works often depict these themes.

Nancy currently lives with her husband Stewart at Sandridge Outstation near Borroloola.

Nancy created this design in September 2017 during a screenprinting workshop in Katherine run by Tim Growcott and Millie Shorter, facilitated by Magpie Goose in partnership with Katherine Regional Arts. This is her first foray into large scale textile design.

Art story - Wundurri and Jilbirri (Bush Turkey and Termite Mound)

“This design’s all about Bush Turkey – Wundurri is the Garrwa name. We grew up eating that, it’s good tucker. I’ve drawn it here with Jilbirri – the termite mound. You can see Wundurri everywhere, but you can only hunt it in the wet season. The main hunting ground for the all the people [in the Borroloola region]- Mara, Gurandji, Garrwa, Yanyuwa – is the plains of my Grandfather’s country: Wadarung, Yanyuwa country. We all used to go hunting for bush turkey and turtle there; by the big lagoon. Today people shoot the bush turkey (we used to go out with my uncle Noel because he was a police person and had a gun!); but in the old days you had to be a really good shot person to get it with a spear. Wundurri is the best food you can get – better than McDonalds. In the bush, you can’t starve; you’ve got everything there that you can go and eat to keep you alive!"