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Willy Mongta

Willy Mongta was born in Bairnsdale Victoria in 1966 of Aboriginal descent of the Monero tribe. He was taught how to make snakes when thirteen years old by his Uncle Fred and considers his Uncle to have been the finest snake maker ever. He is very proud to carry on his Uncles tradition. Willy makes his snakes and other artefacts as a hobby. Making a snake involves going into the bush and finding the appropriate sticks on the tree. The branch is de-barked while green and then sanded and dried slowly and carefully. He then uses an iron-core poker to burn the fine details of the snake. and then uses a special wood stain to colour and finish them. In 1998 Willy won the Peoples Choice Award in the National Indigenous Heritage Art Awards for a four metre long Brown Snake. The snake was made from a tree branch first coveted by his Ubcle and now embodies the spirit of his Uncle Fred. Willy lives with his family and works in Queanbeyan NSW.

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