James Mitjpunun Malibirr

Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts

My name is James Mitjpunun Malibirr. I was born on the beach in Galiwin’ku. My language is Ganalbingu and my clan is Malibirr. My parents are Lucy Malirrimurruwuy Wanapuyngu and the late Ian Wuluwul Malibirr. My subsection is Gudjuk and my Moiety is Yirritja. When I was about six years old, we moved to Mapurru by boat and lived there until the airstrip was built. Back on Galiwin’ku I visited the Primary School. By the age of nine I moved to Gapuwiyak. My father took me to the men’s ceremony grounds when I was twelve and we visited Raymingirr, Dhupuwamirri, Manynyallak and many other outstations. It finished at Raminginning with a special smoking ceremony and I was free to return home.That’s where I started to paint. I spent long times in Mapuru looking after my father until he passed away in December 2010. He showed me how to paint on barks and canvas. I like to paint on all kinds of things and try out new things. My ngapipi (uncle) is the late Djardi Ashley and I paint his and my mothers’s designs.