Winjama-Yagan Captain Cook Junba by Wattie Nerdu

ceremonial objects
Captain Cook and the West Kimberley

This totem represents the boat (Winjama) and sails of Captain Cook’s ship on arrival in Australia. Worrorra songman, Wattie Nerdu, dreamt and composed this junba at Old Mowanjum in 1963. Presenting the story of Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia, and the subsequent colonisation of the country in a new light, it tells this story of how Agurla, a strong devil-like spirit drew Cook to the coast, enabling him to come into people’s country without permission, take it over and kill people. Although Cook did not come to this coast his name and the spirit of first contact and the Indigenous resistance is alive in this junba.

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Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre

Waking up the spirit

Waking up the spirit of the Country through songs, dance, art and story, by sharing and teaching young people, is what the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre does to keep their culture alive...


Gibb River Road
Derby WA 6728

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Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm; or book group tours by calling 08 9191 1008. Entrance fee to Museum applies.

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