Ignatia Jangarra Wandjina Paintings

Ignatia Jangarra is an Aboriginal Artist who painted depictions of Wandjina. She painted in the Kimberley of Western Australia in the 1980’s. Most of her Wandjina paintings are on bark.


The aim of this article is to assist readers in identifying if their bark painting is by Ignatia Jangarra. It compares examples of her work. She painted in a Wandjina Style.


If you have an Ignatia Jangarra bark painting to sell please contact me. If you want to know what your Ignatia Jangarra painting is worth to me please feel free to send me a Jpeg. I would love to see it.



Ignatia Jangarra Style

Ignatia Jangarra paints Wandjina with round eyes. The eyes are smaller and the eye lashes are thick compared to Charlie Numbulmoore.

The face of her Wandjina are white while the body below the armpits covered in dots that represent the rain. Her paintings, in general, are similar but finer than those of Lily Karadada. Ignatia’s paintings are almost identical to her husbands Waigin Jangarra. Her paintings are often of only Wandjina but sometimes also incorporate totemic animals or stick figures. Her major Totemic animals are the turtle and snake.

Many of Ignatia’s depictions of Wandjina are small and show only waist up. Wandjina paintings showing the whole body are a lot less common. Bigger barks depicting the whole Wandjina are more desirable than those of head and shoulders.

Ignatia’s images of Wandjinas on bark are typically icon-like in shape. They have rounded sides, narrower at the top than the base. The spirits are often depicted with bark buckets, an artifact unique to the Kimberley region

Ignatia Jangarra like Lily Karedada also painted on traditional spathe containers.


Bibliography of Ignatia Jangarra


Ignatia Jangarra started painting regularly in 1985. She painted at Warringarri Aboriginal Arts center in Kununurra. Ignatia and her husband Waigan often worked together as did Rosie and Louis Karedada and Lily and Jack Karedada. They gathered their ochres from the local creek beds and like their counterparts in Arnhem Land used charcoal to create black paint.

Little information is available about Ignatia’s childhood and youth. She first became prominent at Kalumburu in the mid-1980’s. She lived next to the Benedictine mission that was 25 kilometers from the northern coast.

Ignatia, who was born around 1930, was already in her mid 50’s when she first began creating Wandjina bark paintings. Her husband Waigin is probably the person who taught her to paint. He was responsible for maintaining Wandjina on cave walls.

Though it is not known when Ignatia and Waigan passed away these two wonderful old Woonambool elders left a priceless legacy. Wandjina images are amongst the most powerful of all Aboriginal art.

If anyone knows more information about the biography of Ignatia, please contact me as I would like to add it to this article.

Jangarra is sometimes spelled Djanghara.


Ignatia Jangarra Bark painting images

The following images are not a complete list of works by Ignatia Jangarra. They do however give a good feel for the very distinctive style of this artist.

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