Gika – Adjacent to Matamata it is set on a mangrove beach facing North across the Nalawarung Straits.

Group Gawurr

L anguage Dhangu

Surname(s) Gurruwiwi

Spiritual Themes

Wititj – The oldest human religious myth, the Rainbow Serpent is key to Galpu identity. Its prism of colour in sinuous form summons the power of tempest and the shimmer of wet leaves.

Bol’ngu – In common with all Dhuwa clans, a patch of dedicated rainforest generates the cloud which merges with others to form Thunderman the embodiment of the monsoon cloud mass.

Banumbirr – The Morning Star (Venus) connects Buralku – the island of the Dead with The Two Sisters with Wurrkadi, larvae of the Horned beetle.


Mithinarri (1929-1976) is one of the Yirrkala Church Panel artists whose work has been sought after in the secondary market. His daughter Djul’tjul paints from Gurrumurru. Djalu Gurruwiwi has attained international fame as the best known yidaki maker and player from East Arnhem throughout a period when the instrument has become a global phenomenon.

Galpu sing the origin of the Dhuwa yidaki. Other clan members who produce yidaki are Badikupa, Manany and Larrtjanga #2, John Mandjuwi Gurruwiwi is another respected Galpu artist whose work is held in the National Gallery of Australia.

Besides Yirrkala, Galpu live at Galiwinku, Goulburn Island, Gunyungarra, Gangan and Galupa. The works in this Collection are by Malaluba Gumana who paints her mother clan, the Galpu at Garrimala near her homeland of Gangan.