Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja

Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja is not a typical biography.  Rather, it invites the reader to explore an alternative worldview, a different way of being in Country.  Yorna enhances the reader's appreciation of the so-called natural world, his relationships with it and the beings that inhabit it with him and his community.  He explains his own personal interaction and relationship with the Wandjina images and his responsibilities to refresh and care for the Wandjina and Country to ensure the continuity of his people and Culture.  The result is a transformative experience for the reader - an intimate and privileged insight to his life, his family, his Culture and his Country.

Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja is a renowned Kimberley, Woddordda artist whose giant Namaralay Wandjina featured in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.  He is the chairman of the Mowanjum Artists Spirit of the Wandjina Aboriginal Corporation.

Born at Kunmunya Mission, Yorna and his family were moved serveral times and eventually settled at Mowanjum, well south of their Woddordda homeland.  There he watched his Elders paint the Wandjinas on bark and boards, and learnt the stories of Lalai, the biggest story.

His father was Sam Woolagoodja, one of the last Law men of the Woddordda people.  After his father's death in 1979, Yorna took on responsibility for the land and for the passing on of cultural traditions.  He became active in the pursuit of native title and continues to educate younger generations in Culture and the importance of Country.

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