Gabriel Nodea and Dougie Macale perform Lalanggarrany doo Binyjirrminy (the Crocodile and the Bat). Image copyright Alana Hunt, courtesy Warmun Art Centre.

The exhibition Joonba Junba Juju is the outcome of an alliance between four leading Aboriginal-owned Art Centres in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The title is taken from the words for song and dance cycles from the different language groups of the region. Joonba in the East around Warmun and Kununurra, Junba in the West around Mowanjum and Juju in the central Fitzroy Valley area.

Traditionally, performers travelled on foot as a troupe to visit neighboring and distant communities, sharing and exchanging song and dance cycles, as part of what is called Wirrnan - a formal exchange network of objects, culture and obligation – in which song cycles and performances were shared and even traded.

Objects are made to be used in the Joonba, Junba or Juju. These hold significant meaning to both the living and the spiritual realm. Masks, headdresses, as the markings of body paint and video are all used to interpret the cyclical narratives and create links between the audience and the spiritual realm from which the dance cycles emanate.


Visit the four art centre websites to learn more






To see where the art centres are located visit this map


Reporter James O’brien from ABC Broome interviewed Chris Griffths from Waringarri Aboriginal Arts and Phyllis Thomas from Warmun Art Centre while they were in Sydney for the opening of Joonba Junba Juju at UTS Gallery


Take a look at images form the workshops led by Indigenous art consultant Tahjee Moar and UTS ART Education


All images in the Joonba Junba Juju education resource are by David Lawry unless otherwise stated