Wangkatjungka, near Fitzroy Crossing, Kimberley, Western Victoria
Ningali Josie Lawford was born in 1967, at Wangkatjungka, near Fitzroy Crossing inthe Kimberley region of Western Victoria. She grew up on a cattle station where herfather was overseer. After her high school years in Perth, she lived in Alaska fortwelve months as the recipient of an American Field Scholarship. On her return, shejoined the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre in Sydney.Her solo show, entitled ?Ningali? was written with Angela Chaplin and Robyn Archer.Ningali brings the different worlds together. ?The minorities always have to inform,enlighten, the majorities?, she says. ?That?s difficult.? In her show she sings,dances, and does stand-up comedy. Ningali is a great cultural mediator.Ningali?s totem is the snake. Her mother gave it to her, she dreamed about it whenshe was pregnant. The mole on Ningali?s foot is exactly the place where she had hitit in her dream. ?In our religion, the snake created the world?, says AustralianAboriginal performer Ningali Josie Lawford. Her art and her strategy is to meldcontrasts.She lives with the mystics of her ancestors and integrates traditional dance andsong into her performances. She tells stories in three languages: Walmatjarri andWangkatjungka (her traditional language), English (which she learned when she wasthirteen) and the synthesis of the two, Kreol.