Minyawe grew up in the Punmu area with his sister and fellow artist Nancy Taylor, and many other family members. As a young man, he walked long distances carrying only his tajitaji (smouldering stick) and his jurna (hunting stick). He ate womala (fruit) and all kinds of meat including emu, Kitti Kitti (hill kangaroo), pussycat and dingo.
Minyawe heard that the people had all gone to Jigalong, Marble Bar, Nullagine and Port Hedland. He walked a long way to get to Jigalong, and finally a truck passed a drove him and his family in.
Minyawe met his wife Nancy Chapman at Jigalong Mission. He worked in the cattle station and was an excellent horse rider and breaker, working for many years on pastoral stations.At Strelley, Minyawe and the other men built roads by hand and ran the station.
Minyawe now lives in Punmu, with his wife, children and grandchildren, where he paints great stretches of country in a very distinctive, precise style. He is also part of the Punmu Men’s Ranger team.
Photograph courtesy and copyright Tobias Titz.