Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Yirrkala Arts Centre
Private Collection, Sydney
"The beautiful rendition of the sea at Garraparra. Garraparra is a coastal headland and bay area within Blue Mud Bay. It marks the spot of a sacred burial area for the Dhalwaŋu clan and a site where dispute was formally settled by Makarrata (a trial of ordeal by spear which settled serious grievance and sealed the peace forever). During the times after the ‘first mornings’ ancestral hunters left the shores of Garraparra in their canoe towards the horizon hunting for turtle. Sacred songs and dance narrate the heroic adventures of these two men as they passed sacred areas, rocks and saw ancestral totems on their way. Their hunting came to grief, with the canoe capsizing and the hunters being drowned. The bodies washed back to the shores of Garraparra with the currents and the tides, as the Waŋupini followed with its rain and wind. Their canoe with paddle and totems queen fish Makani and long tom Minyga and turtle Gärun are all referred to in the songs and landscape. Makarrata, the ritual throwing of spears at a miscreant of Yolŋu law took place here. At Garraparra sacred trees held these barbed spears whilst not in use. Garraparra has been rendered by the wavy design for Yirritja saltwater in Blue Mud Bay called Muŋurru. The Muŋurru is deep water that has many states and connects with the sacred waters coming from the land estates by currents and tidal action.
Other clans of Blue Mud Bay that share similar mythology of the Yiŋapuŋapu, ie the Madarrpa and Maŋgalili also paint the deeper saltwater – the Muŋurru as such. This sacred design shows the water of Djalma Bay chopped up by the blustery South Easterlies of the early Dry season. From freshwater the waters migrate to Mungurru the mighty undifferentiated Yirritja saltwater ocean that plays at the horizon which receives and unifies all the Yirritja coastal saltwaters in one. It is from here that the water (soul) transmogrifies to vapour to enter the 'pregnant' WaŋupiniShare