Musician Jimmy Little visited Ramingining during the Bak'bididi Festival in October, as part of his Jimmy Little Foundation 'Thumbs Up !' workshops.  Visiting various communities in Arnhem Land to promote a healthy lifestyle, Jimmy and his team wrote and recorded songs with local kids, while his chef Cos Tambling conducted cooking workshops.  A highlight of the Bak'bididi festival was being entertained by Jimmy Little on the Saturday night of the festival.

Bula'bula artists participated in the project, by creating a big 'Thumbs Up!' painting as part of the workhops, which depicted healthy food options, including local bush tucker.

For more information about the Jimmy Little Foundation ad the Thumbs Up! program, visit:

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Bula'bula Arts - Australian Aboriginal Art Centre: Aboriginal Art, Painting & Screenprinting PDF Print E-mail

Bula'bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation is located in Ramingining, a small and remote community established in central Arnhem Land in the 1970s. Located about 400km east of Darwin and 30km inland from the Arafura Sea, the township is built on land owned by the Djadawitjibi people of the Djinang group. 

The region is home to more than sixteen clans speaking fourteen different languages, and borders on the Arafura Wetlands.Ramingining has had an Indigenous art centre since the 1970s, and in 1990 a meeting of senior artists resulted in the decision to establish an independent artists organization to represent their interests. The name Bula’bula refers to the message embodied in the song-cycle of the area’s principal creative being, Garrtjambal the red kangaroo.  More literally, it translates as the tongue, or voice of the kangaroo.

Bula’bula artists are renowned for their distinctive bark and canvas paintings, dupun (hollow logs), yidaki (didgeridu), and fibre art such as mindirr (dilly bags), bush string bags and beautifully woven mats.  In addition to also producing limited edition prints on paper, Bula’bula Arts occaisonally produces locally designed screen-printed fabric and t-shirts.

Ramingining has produced many artists of renown, including Paddy Dhathangu (1914-1993), George Milpurrurru (1934-1998) and David Malangi (1927-1999), who is famous for the use his artwork on the Australian one dollar note, which was in currency until 1982.  Working painters currently include Philip Gudthaykudthay, Dorothy Djukulul, Namiyal Bopirri, Jimmy Moduk, Charlie Djurritjini, Richard Birrinbirrin, Peter Minygululu, Roy Burnyila and Bobby Bununggurr.Bula’bula also has some very accomplished fibre artists.  They include Judy Baypungala, Elizabeth Djuttara (1942-2010), Robyn Djunginy and Clara Matjandatjpi (Wubugwubuk), who was commissioned by SOCOG to produce large fibre forms for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

More about the Ramingining region, the culture, people and art from this area can be seen on the website Twelve Canoes (

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art centre

                           Interior view of Bula'bula Arts, showing a range of artworks and objects made by the local Yolngu artists

Yirritja and Dhuwa Panels
Each panel measures 2.7 metres in length and I.2 metres in width. They represent the two moieties of the Yolngu people. In Yolngu culture every thing (eg. plant, animal, cloud or person) is either Yirritja or Dhuwa. This division is an integral part of Yolngu social organisation. A person is the same moiety as their father and they marry someone of the opposite moiety. The opposite moiety is the same moiety as their mother. In this way there are always strong family connections.

Each clan and language belongs to one of the two moieties. The Dhuwa moiety panel is from the Mandhalpingu people. The Yirritja panel is from the Ganalbingu people.


Dhuwa Panel

This panel was painted in acrylics by Peter Minygululu in 2000.

“My father was Mandhalpingu. There are four wititj (olive python), two melkirri (forked sticks), and remu (Saratoga fish). Up the top is a stone axe, and at the bottom too. Woomera and spears. There is a woman with a dilly bag and digging stick. Above and below her are two men with spears and woomera (spear thrower). It’s from Mirrngatja country, for Mandhalpingu and Balawuy clans. On the outside are platforms (in a cross design) which we hang from the forked sticks. This makes a sleeping platform.”


Yirritja Panel

This panel was painted in locally collected ochres by Charlie Djurritjini in 1992.

Freshwater totems of the Ganalbingu people are depicted in this painting. There are waterlily flowers, leaves and tubers, long necked tortoises and frogs. The cross hatching represents water weeds that the tortoises hide underneath. There are also karr, the spider, in the painting, as well as circles surrounded by dots that represent the droppings of flying foxes.