The story of Nhinhinhi

11 Jun 2024
NRL Cowboys House boarding parent & artist Bradley Michael tells the story of ‘Nhinhinhi Gurra Bamawi Guugu’ (how the giant Nhinhinhi fish changed the languages), featuring on the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' 2024 Indigenous range.

‘Nhinhinhi Gurra Bamawi Guugu’ (how the giant Nhinhinhi fish changed the languages)

By Bradley Michael

This is the creation story of Nhinhinhi (a great giant Qld Groper), the fish that changed everyone’s languages.

It tells how long ago, when we all spoke the same language, clan groups were called to Ngurrayin (Barratt's Lagoon) to celebrate.

Nhinhinhi, annoyed by the noise, swallowed them and took them underground and out to sea. Months later he returned and spat them out, but when they started speaking again, they found they spoke different languages.

I painted them as spirits heading back towards their homeland. If it wasn’t for this fish, we would all be too similar and only speak the one language.

I reflect on this story as a learning and sharing journey, to respect and learn people’s culture, community, family and values. 

The 2024 NRL Cowboys House 'Nhinhinhi' polo is on sale now through the Cowboys Team Shop. All proceeds from sales support our life-changing programs, thanks to the Cowboys Leagues Club.