Wandjuk Marika biography

Wandjuk Marika

Painting, Visual Artist

1927 – 1987


Who was Wandjuk Marika?

Wandjuk Marika OBE, was an Australian Aboriginal painter, actor, composer and land rights activist. He was a member of the Riratjingu clan of the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Australia.

His paintings expressed his people's traditional religious beliefs, and included Djang'kawu Story and Birth of the Djang'kawu Children of Yelangbara. Djang'kawu is the founding ancestor of the Riratjingu in traditional stories.

He co-founded the Aboriginal Arts Board in 1973, and became Chairman in 1976. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire that same year.

His name was given to the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award, a category of the prestigious National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, awarded annually by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. His portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, and several of his paintings feature in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

As an actor, Marika appeared in the films Where the Green Ants Dream and Initiation. He also appeared in the television miniseries Women of the Sun. He was both actor and composer in Where the Green Ants Dream.


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"Wandjuk Marika." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Feb. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/wandjuk_marika>.

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Also known as
  • Wandjuk Djuwakan Marika
  • Wangjuk Marka
  • Aboriginal Australians
  • Australia
Jun 1, 1987

on July 23, 2013

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