ochres on Wood Sculpture
15 x 175 cm
Buku Larrngay Arts, NT
Cooee Art, NSWStory
This painting by Yimula Munuŋgurr depicts with this cross hatching grid pattern, the sacred design for the freshwaters of the Djapu clan at their homeland Wandawuy now an outstation about 150 kilometres south of Yirrkala and inland from Blue Mud Bay. This Djapu clan outstation (and spiritual residence for Ancestral Beings Mäna the Shark and Bol’ŋu the Thunderman) is surrounded by permanent freshwater. Rains inspired by the actions of Bol’ŋu feed the rivers and fill the billabongs. Catfish and mussels, freshwater crayfish and others feed the Yolŋu and wild life. The waters are home for the shark Mäna.
The grid refers to the landscape of Wandawuy - a network of billabongs surrounded by ridges and high banks. Its structure also having reference at one level to woven fish traps. Ancestral Hunters set a trap here to snare the Shark but to no avail. These Yolngu people are called Bärngbarng and Monu'a who came to cut the trees named Gu'uwu, Gathurrmakarr, Nyenyi, Rulwirrika and Gananyarra - all Dhuwa trees. They used straight young trees nd cut them with their axes called Gayma`arri, Bitjutju.