2019/0068 Kira Kiro spirits

Kira Kiro spirits


20 Sep 1960
Karunji Station, Kimberley region, Western Australia


Kira Kiro spirits
ochre pigments on paper
102.0 x 153.0 cm (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Purchased with funds donated by Nicholas Murfett and Catherine Oliver, Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation, 2019
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
Currently not on display


Extended Label

From the time of the beginning - the Dreamtime, called Lalai by Kwini people, the Kira Kiro have been the guardians and assistants of the Wandjina. They are good spirits and are also traditional dancers who sing about the yam and fruits that can be gathered when the wet season rains begin. The Kira Kiro spirits taught Aboriginal people what food to hunt and gather and how to use certain plants and trees for medicines. They taught how to care for the land and rivers and sea; to not waste food or cut down trees. They taught Aboriginal people about which trees are used for artefacts, where to find natural ochres, to look after rock art and sacred sites and where warriors are buried. The rocks where warriors are buried are painted with white ochre. We learn the knowledge of the Kira Kiro from our warriors and elders past and present from generation to generation. These stories we are proud of, they were locked in our minds because we didn’t have books to keep for the younger generation. The Bradshaws or Kira Kiro figures are the worlds oldest rock art figures even older than the Wandjina.

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Vernon id: 23923