- Museum number
- Object: Mangrove goannas at Wakurrwakurr
Bark painting, roughly rectangular, with two wooden split stick supports, placed on either side of the short ends, and lashed with vegetable fibre. Depicts four mangrove goannas at a sacred watering hole with cross-hatched background patterning (Datiwuy clan design), painted in black, white, red-ochre and yellow-ochre pigments.
- Production date
- 20thC (before 1986)
Length: 95 centimetres
Width: 43 centimetres (Bark)
Width: 50.20 centimetres (Frame)
- Curator's comments
Text on beige Buku Larrngay label tied to support: "Minydjirrdjirr totemic mangrove goanna at his sacred waterhole in Datiwuy country", "No.6480".
Text from Eth Doc 1064: 'Minydjirrdjirr - Mangrove goannas. Cat no 6485. In Datiwuy country at Wakurrwakurr in Arnhem Bay, the Djan'kawu made a sacred waterhole. From the waterhole came minydjirrdjirr, mangrove goanna. Nearby, the Djan'kawu built a fish trap, and a design representing this fishtrap became a sacred design for the Datiwuy people. The Djan'kawu made the fishtrap and the mangrove goanna sacred and gave them to the Datiwuy people.
The Djan'kawu continued their journey and crossed the Ngarwiwuy Creek. They put sacred feathered dilly bags containing the clan's emblems into the tidal waters for the Datiwuy people.
The black discs in this painting represent the waterholes made by the Djan'kawu, with the overflowing water gushing between the waterholes and joining them. The larger, yellow goannas are females, and the black ones, male - they are drinking from the central waterhole. The background design is a Datiwuy clan design.
The site for this painting is near the mouth of a river near Rorruwuy, where the freshwater ends. The next painting, a Ngaymil painting, is from Milipa, a site upstream on the same river as this Datiwuy painting.'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number