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Artist Once Known (Ganalbingu)

Magpie Goose - c.1975

natural earth pigments on wood
59 x 29 cm
Price Realised: $1,000.00

MP #268


Provenance

Maningrida Arts and Culture, NT
Private Collection, NSW

The Magpie Goose (gumang) is a favourite food amongst the clans that live in the viscinity of the Arafura Swamp in Arnhem Land. At the end of the monsoon season in April each year, magpie geese in their thousands rest in the shallow waters of the Arafura Swamp. Amongst the Ganalbingu, Gurrumba Gurrumba, literally means 'a flock of geese'. Here between the ridges to the east of the swamp, is a freshwater billabong which was made by the Goose Spirit. It's topography which has a circular pattern is in the form of a goose nest. The geese, their eggs, and their nests are sacred to Ganalbingu people — the nest is sometimes thought of as a resting place for souls.