Mabel King Australian, Ngarinyin, 1930-2006
A respected Ngarinyin elder and important person in Mowanjum's cultural affairs, Mabel is another of the Mowanjum people who trekked from her Gurima country near Charnley River to Munja, Kunmunya, Wotjulum, old Mowanjum and present day Mowanjum. She has secret women's powers and is a keeper of traditional Ngarinyin song and dance. Mabel is responsible for teaching the women and young boys and girls the proper way to dance Wangga (children's corroboree).
With her keen wit, boundless enthusiasm, and knowledge of hundreds of Ngarinyin stories, Mabel brings a wonderful energy into the Mownajum art studio. She paints prolifically and passionately, with a child's joy. "I paint my own Wandjina stories for me', says Mabel. "Painting has become my life".
Collectors are drawn to her naive style. In 1999, the prestigious National Gallery of Victoria purchased four of her pieces.