Walter Ebatarinja (1915-1968)

Walter was born the son of Joshua and Ruth on the 20th of October 1915. He was schooled at the mission and became proficient in the trades of stock-whip and belt plaiting.

Walter held a high degree of tribal authority at Hermannsburg due to his ancestry. His father was considered the headman of the Hermannsburg group and his family were the traditional custodians of the Roulbmaulbma, an area in the vicinity of Ellery Creek. He was the nephew of Albert Namatjira.

Walter began painting in the early 1940s and was one of the first to take up painting after Albert. He initially received lessons from Albert who was obliged to help Walter because of his tribal status. This meant that Walter was taught before Alberts sons Enos & Oscar Namatjira who were also showing an interest in painting at the time. Walter improved quickly under Alberts guidance and found a good market for his artwork. His early and mid period works are beautifully executed. His later compositions became more standardized when he mostly worked from memory and painted prolifically for the tourist market.