Australia recently lost another of its national treasures. Paddy Bedford was one of the prodigeously talented Gija artists of the East Kimberley. He was doubtlessly one one of the greatest artists this country has ever produced. You can read obituaries here and here (WARNING: Photo) and see for yourself the wonderful legacy he has left behind (a, b, & c).
Lots has been written and there'll be much more written yet. I just thought he thought he was a beautiful man. When he was young he earned the name Kuwumji, because Kuwumjingarri nginini, 'he went around combing his hair'. Even as a kid they reckoned he was a dude. But as he got older, he was *the MAN* (WARNING: on left in photo). But more importantly he was one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. I have many fond memories of camping on the verandah in Kununurra at Frances Kofod's house where he had his bed. He would wake up every morning to the view of Kelly's Knob. Life could be worse.
One of the main reasons he lived to be 85, or however old he was, is because he was so well looked after by Frances and her son Rowan. He was well-fed and healthy and happy. Apart from being an astoundingly good linguist, Frances is one of the kindest people I've ever met. Nambijin, you're one of the world's truly unique individuals. Your loss is all of our loss.