Murabuda Wurramarrba

Murabuda Wurramarrba

Murabuda (Paul) Wurramarrba was the son of Old Charlie Galiowa and Bugwaraba Garnaja Ngalmi.

Murabuda was born about 1934 and worked faithfully for the Mission most of his life. Murabuda was a well respected senior elder for the Angurugu community. He was a staunch Christian and was a layreader at Angurugu. He also worked as a valued member of GEMCO’s security team.

He had extensive knowledge of the people and places of the Groote Archipelago having worked on Fred Gray’s boat the Holly from Umbakumba.  The Holly was a 45 foot ketch which the Angurugu mission used for ferrying supplies.  Murabuda also worked on the Sidjara, Curtis and the Arabia from Millingimbi which had been used in the Second World War.  These boats were all used to ferry freight between Roper River, Groote Eylandt and Thursday Island. The Arabia sank near Brang Brang in the Queensland Gulf while Murabuda was on board, he had to swim ashore with 8 other crew and they were found by another mission boat and brought back to safety. 

Murabuda was a salt water man and loved being out on the ocean.

Murabuda learnt the traditional ways of making spears and woomeras as a child from his father and watching the elders.  He was one of only two artists that was still hand carving traditional Groote Eylandt hook spears and painting them using traditional ochres found on Groote Eylandt.

The majority of the stories painted by Murabuda have been given to him by his mother.  Murabuda’s cross hatching line work are all connected to these stories.

As a Wurramarrba he sang of boats and aeroplanes, of sails and ropes, of coconuts and dolphin and the brown pigeon.

Murabuda has taught his daughters and grandchildren these stories handed down by his mother and they have been a influence in his art designs.




Father Country:

Mother Country:



Current Artworks