Spencer & Gillen

A journey through Aboriginal Australia


Jack was the key Anmatyerr informant to Spencer and Gillen at Barrow Creek during the 1901 expedition. They described him as the 'head of totem', a 'medicine man' or ‘nongara’ and a 'member' of the 1901 expedition staff. In annotation of photograph XP14577 Spencer writes: ‘Jack’ and his hat. Barrow Creek, June 01. Unmatjera native with hat made for him by Mr Scott of Barrow Creek. 1901. Unmatjera man with hat made for him by Mr. Scott of Barrow Creek. 1901." In annotation of the image XP14578 Spencer writes: '"Unmatjera native in charge of Scotts station at Stirling Creek with hat made by Mr. Scott. 1901." Spencer also records his name as ‘Ilpaliurkna’ (on the June 26th), or Unpalliurkna’ or ‘Illpalliurkna’ in notebook XM5858. Also see XM5858 - June 17th - p.86-109. Spencer renders the name as 'Ulpailiurkna' in Across Australia (p.332) and describes him as Illpaliurkna ‘Jack is a Purula', a man of the Idnimita totem on notebook XM5856 page 114.The current orthographic spelling of this name may be 'Arlpalywerrng', an Anmatyerr word referring to the witchetty grub when it is small and red.

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Skin Name
Alternate Names
  • Ilpayurknga; Ilpayurkna; Jack
Language Groups