Profile of Jack Cook Jangala

Region: Yuelamu(Mt Allan) Northern Territory
Language: Anmatyerre

Jack Cook Jangala was born c.1935 at Napperby Station in the Northern Territory of Australia.

He is an Anmatyerre speaker whose country is Ngarliyikurlangu to the west and north west of the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu.

He lives at Yuelamu (Mt Allen) with his family.

He is married to Anne Cook and Rowena Nungurrayi and has seven children he also has family connections at Ti-Tree with whom he sometimes stays.


Jack,treasures his Aboriginal heritage and skills and regularly takes his family out bush to camp and learn traditional skills such as boomerang making and hunting and to teach his sons the important dreaming stories that he paints.

Jack remembers and treasures the songs of his people. Like many of the older men Jack worked for many years as a stockman on Mt Allan station before the land was returned to the traditional owners and the last manager left Mt Allan around 1996.

During the years he spent living and working on the station he learned to speak excellent English and developed a life long friendship with the station manager DD Smith.

Jack was instrumental in the land being handed back to its traditional owners and was one of the main spokesmen who traveled to Canberra to meet the Prime Minister and present their case which hinged on several of the important dreaming sites on Mt Allan station.


He began painting traditional stories on canvas in 1985 his main subjects are Emu, Honey Ant, Water Snake and Turkey Dreamings.

His use of traditional colours, well executed designs and the small intricate dots make for a spectacular effect and his paintings are very highly sought after.

Jack paints the dots with the end of a matchstick and works from left to right in small horizontal strips.

A typical painting can take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

As a result he normally only produces around 4 or 5 paintings per year and most are sold before they are completed which makes them quite difficult to obtain and this is reflected in the steadily increasing price.

Jack Cook Jangala works have been exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Prague galleries

Jack Cooks And Family