David Gulpilil

David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu (Gurlpilil is linguistically correct though he is sometimes credited as David Gumpilil; born 1 July 1953), is an Indigenous Australian traditional dancer and actor. His first starring role was Walkabout. He is a Yolngu man of Mandhalpuyngu language group. As a young boy, Gulpilil was an accomplished hunter, tracker and ceremonial dancer. Unlike many Indigenous people of his generation, Gulpilil spent his childhood in the bush, outside the range of non-Aboriginal influences. There he received a traditional upbringing in the care of his family. He attended the mission school at Maningrida in Australia's North East Arnhem Land. When he came of age, Gulpilil was initiated into the Mandhalpuyngu tribal group. His skin group totemic animal is the eagle and his homeland is Marwuyu. After appearing in his first film, he added English to several tribal languages in which he was already fluent. In 1969, Gulpilil's extraordinary skill as a tribal dancer caught the attention of British filmmaker Nicolas Roeg, who had come to Maningrida scouting locations for a forthcoming film.


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