Painted by Biddy Dale, the wife of the late Jack Dale, from the west Kimberley. Here’s his description of these wily spirit figures:
“Big mob of Argulas everywhere. This Argula lives in a cave inside the mountain. The old people say the Argula will sit on top of his cave on the mountain and shake a boab nut or colour beetle.
This food is the favourite of kids living in nearby camps. The kids will run up the steep mountain to get the food; the Argula grabs them and takes them down into his cave.
This Argula is lonely and has no children. After a while, sitting inside the cave, with the stolen kids, he talks so much he makes them deaf. In the camp, the clever men are sent to look for the kids. The men shake colour lizards, the favourite food of the Argula. While he is eating the lizards, they pinch the kids back and take them to the camp, but the kids are deaf from too much talking from the Argula. A special Djunba (dance) is made to bring back the hearing of the kids”.
Jack Dale Mengenen