Sunday 17 June 2012: 'wandering' wandjina
In Aboriginal mythology , the wandjina were Dreamtime rain and cloud spirits that created the landscapes and its inhabitants. When they found the place they would die they painted their images on cave walls and entered a nearby waterhole. The traditional colours are ochre reds and yellows and black and are still today repainted annually by Aboriginal elders from certain tribes to ensure the continuity of their presence.
The image has no mouth, either because they were such powerful beings they had no need of speech or because if they had a mouth, the rain would never cease. Around their heads the lines and blocks of colour depict lightning, clouds and rain.
Some 1600 kms south of the Kimberleys here in Perth, wandjinas have, over the past few years, started appearing painted in car parks, on toilet blocks and in this instance on a power box on the outskirts of Midland and in very different colours to the traditional Kimberley colours.
The appearance of these 'wandering wandjina' has caused great distress to the Kimberley elders, explaining that they should only be painted by selected members of the Kimberley tribes .To paint the wandjina image without permission would traditionally result in severe punishment and bring that person a powerful but possibly harmful energy.
A powerful image indeed.