Clan: Gumatj, Rrakpala group
Although relatively young Yalpi is a senior ceremonial leader of Arnhem land. Yalpi has two wives Yananymul Mununggurr and Rerrkirrwanga Munungurr with whom he has ten children. Both women are members of the Djapu clan. Both women are winners of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Best Bark Prize. Both women’s fathers won Telstra prizes during their lifetimes. They are classificatory sisters. Yananymul (winner of the 1995 Best Bark prize) is the daughter of Mutitjpuy Munungurr (1932-1995; winner of the 1990 NATSIAA First Prize) and Rerrkirrwanga (winner of the 2009 Best Bark prize) is the daughter of Djutadjuta Munungurr (1935-1999; Winner of the 1996 NATSIAA Best Bark Prize). He has collaborated with each of them separately in the production of his paintings which usually feature Gumatj diamond designs. Judith Ryan noted his collaborative relationship with Yananymul in her 1990 book ‘Spirit in Land’. In 2004 Gulumbu Yunupingu mother of Yananymul won First Prize in the NATSIAA in 2004. In 2015 Rerrkirrwanga’s mother Nonggirrnga won Best Bark too! Father is Bunungu and his older brother by some twenty years was Lumaluma 2 Yunupiŋu. His mother was Wurruluma of the Djapu clan. Yalpi has been a muscular defender of the interests, both ceremonial and political, of his mother clan in his role as one of their senior Djungaya (manager). Inherently a conservative, Yalpi was a surprise initiator of non-figurative larrakitj in the decade of the 2000s. This style was quickly adopted by other artists but his Gumatj and Djapu pair for the Stokes Collection were the first such pair in the modern era.