an NFSA website

Dog Dreaming (2001)


A documentary that uses observational footage and paintings to tell the Dreaming story of two ancestral dogs.

Curator’s notes

Dog Dreaming is a documentary about the journey of two ancestral dogs across the land that became a Dreaming story. In the land that belongs to the people who speak Mengerrdji, two dogs – the male dog called Adjumalar and the female Womarr – named sites as they crossed the land. Jacob Nayinggu follows their path, telling us what happened to Adjumalar and Womarr as they crossed the country, and how Womarr eventually became a dreaming place at the point where she sank into the ground.

Dog Dreaming is an interesting documentary that invites us into Indigenous cultural beliefs about the land being created by ancestral beings. As Jacob Nayinggu follows the dogs’ journey, he informs us what happened to them and the significance of the sites as a result of the dogs’ passage. Here, we gain an insight into how story is a way of mapping territory, and Jacob Nayinggu can tell us what landmark – a waterhole for example – was created and the name the dogs gave it. But it is the story of Dog Dreaming that Jacob follows as he moves through the land.