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Waigin Jangarra Wandjina Paintings

Waigin Jangarra is an Aboriginal Artist who painted depictions of Wandjina. He painted in the Kimberley of Western Australia in the 1970’s and 80’s.

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

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

Waigin Jangarra Style


Waigin Jangarra paints Wandjina with round eyes. The eyes are smaller and the eyelashes are thick compared to Wandjina by Charlie Numbulmoore. The face of his Wandjina are white while the body below the armpits covered in dots that represent the rain. His paintings, in general, are similar but finer than those of Lily Karadada and almost identical to his wife’s Ignatia Jangarra.


His paintings are often of just Wandjina or two Wandjina one above the other. He sometimes also incorporates totemic animals or shields. His major Totemic animals are the turtle snake and dugong.


The pigments on his early barks are quite fragile as he did not use fixatives. One common theme in his works though is a snake drooped above the Wandjina head.


Wandjina paintings showing the whole body are less common bigger and more desirable than those of the head and shoulders. Waigin’s images of Wandina on bark are either icon-like in shape or square. He has also painted barks with a dugongs shield and turtle.

Biography of  Waigin Jangarra

Waigin Jangarra started painting regularly in 1980’s. This was mainly at Warringarri Aboriginal Arts in Kununurra. Waigin Jangarra taught his wife Ignatia to paint and they worked together as did Rosie and Louis Karedada and Lily and Jack Karedada. They gathered their ochres from the local creek beds and used charcoal to create black paint.

Little information is available about Waigin’s childhood and youth. It is very likely he started his painting in rock shelters repainting the Wandjinas there. He became prominent at Kalumburu in the mid-1980’s. He lived next to the Benedictine mission 25 kilometers from the northern coast.

Waigin Jangarra, who was born around 1925, was already in his late 50’s when he first began creating bark paintings for commercial sale. He was responsible for maintaining Wandjina on the cave walls.

Though it is not known when Waigan or his wife died 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 Waigin, please contact me as I would like to add it to this article.

Waigin was a pioneer bark painter of Wandjina like Mickey Bungkuni and  Wattie Karruwara.

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All images in this article are for educational purposes only.

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Waigin Jangarra Bark painting images

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

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