Commissioned by Mary Macha for Aboriginal Traditional Arts, WA
Deutscher and Hackett, Important Fine Art + Aboriginal Art, Sydney, December 2015, Lot No. 161
Private Collection, NSW
Each artwork is accompanied by a document relating to the content of the work and tapes of the artist speaking and singing the related songs.
(A) Mayata –The Pelican, 22.5 x 22.5 cm
(B) Mirutu Mirutu-The Messenger, 22 x 25 cm
(C) Myimere –The Song Man, 22.5 x 26 cm
(D) Tuurru, 19.5 x 23.5 cm
"A bird of the Patjari section, he is a doctor, and is shown in both his human and bird form. He brings news and give notice of death occurring among kinsfolk. He possesses important ritual objects and songs for healing ritual pain."
(E) Mutjunan – Mythical Traveller, 21 x 26 cm
"Mutjunan travelled east from Broome through to Paradise Station. His journey was stopped by an earthquake at Mutjunan, where he was transformed to stone."
(F) Tarrbai And The Goanna, 22 x 26 cm
"The Patjari section woman, Tarrbai, has echidnas for dogs. The goanna is going past her to his hibernation hole."
(G) Ngalyak-The Skink, 22 x 26.5 cm
"Two lizards at Mantakarkapu meet up with Paningburr, a black and white snake. The skinks belong to the Burungu section; the snake to the Karimba section."
(H) Pirra Pirra-The Dog Man, 24 x 23 cm.
"This rain spirit of the dog is now a rock on the road to Fitzroy Crossing. In the early days the rock was an increase site for puppies. Old men would perform the ceremony to maintain the dingo population in selected areas. Pirrapirra belongs to the Karimba section."
Butcher Joe Nangan was born across the Dampier Creek from Broome and spent his life acquiring the ritual knowledge of the Nyikina people. Known for his skilful engraving of boab nuts and pearl shell, by 1955 Nangan had begun producing beautifully executed pencil and watercolour pictures of flora, fauna and mythological spirit beings in a Western naturalistic style. 'He recorded and transmitted a vast body of cultural knowledge. He was acutely aware of the increasingly rapid loss of historical and other cultural information in the late twentieth century. He drew from a range of hiShare