Wandjina is a powerful Rain Maker spirit associated with the north-west region of the Kimberley in Western Australia. Wandjina images are painted on the rock galleries and in caves throughout the region, marked in red and white ochre. The Wandjina images are painted in significant ritual sites for Aboriginal people of the region, and the paintings were traditionally repainted each decade to ensure the image was kept fresh and lively.
The significance of the Wandjina story was shared by a number of language groups across the west and coastal areas of the Kimberley, including Ngarinyin, Worrorra, and Wunambul people.
Wandjina is the most significant Creation Spirit, associated with rain and therefore the seasonal regeneration of the land and all natural resources. The body of Wandjina is often shown covered with dots that represent the rainfall. The cyclonic Wet Season brings rain to the Kimberley, and elements of the torrential rains, lightning and thunder are often included in the imagery around the head of the Wandjina. Ceremonial dances that pay homage to the Wandjina Rain Spirit can include headdresses that symbolically refer to lightning and thunder.
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