- Museum number
- Object: Mana and Wan'kawu - shark and freshwater goanna at Dhurruputjpi
Bark painting, roughly rectangular, with two wooden split-stick supports placed either side of the short ends, and lashed with string. Depicts freshwater shark, freshwater goanna, brolga tracks, cabbage tree palm, shark's 'den', sunshine, and Dhamalamirr clan design, painted on bark in black, white, red-ochre, and white-ochre paints.
- Production date
- 20thC (before 1986)
Length: 157.50 centimetres
Width: 52 centimetres (bark)
Width: 60.80 centimetres (frame)
- Curator's comments
- Text on beige Buku Larrngay label, tied to support: "Artist: Dhukal / Clan: Dhamalamirr / Language: Dhudi-Djapu / Moiety: Dhuwa / Description: managa wangawu (Painting of shark and freshwater goanna and footprint of brolga sacred to Bottom Djapu)".
Text on two pages pasted to reverse. Page 1:
Djerrka, Galumay' ga Danggultji' (Freshwater goanna, pelican and brolga)
The Djanggawul who travelled in the Dreaming, from an island in the east, across Northeast Arnhem Land, are the most important ancestor spirits for Dhuwa moiety people of the area. As they moved through the country of the Dhuwa moiety clans, the Djangguwul [sic] created springs and waterholes, left marks of their presence at sacred sites, named and declared sacred many species they encountered, and gave country, ceremony and sacred objects to the care of the children they left behind.
In Dhamalamirr country, the Djanggawul made springs for their people by plunging a sacred pole into the ground. The Djanggawul saw Djerrka coming from the water to watch the sun rising in the morning. They sang for Djerkka and made him a Dreaming for Djapu people. At Dhurupitjpi, a very important site, the Djanggawul saw Galumay', pelican, and Djanggultji', brolga, and noticed their tracks on the ground. They sang about them and gave them to Djapu people as Dreaming.
Djapu people look after this Dreaming by singing, dancing, and painting this story. A scared clan design of Djapu people, painted on the chests of boys at initiation and on many other occasions, represents Darangi, wild banana leaf, floating on the surface of the water. The Djanggawul gave this decision to Dhamalamirr Djapu.
Mana is a major totem for Dhamalamirr people. Mana used to be a man, Ganbulabula, who came to Dhuruputjpi, discarded his spear, and turned into a freshwater shark. However, when the creek became too shallow in the dry season, Mana changed into a white gum in the swamp country at Darangi."
Artist's description: Mana and Wankawu
This painting belongs to Bottom Djapu. It comes from a place called Dhurruputjpi. It's a fresh water shark (mana) and we sing and dance to that place. This shark came all the way from a Djambarrpuyngu (a language group living to the west of Yirrkala near Ramingining) place called Ngankalala. Bottom Djapu and Djambarrpuyngu are the same because this shark came all the way from their land (ie the clans are connected by shared dreaming).
The shark's name is Gunduynurru Gawirruna. It lives under a palm tree (djuwany) under fresh water. The background lines (crosshatching) represent Bottom Djapu (ie the clan design). The black mark you can see there is mana's hole. Between the shark and the hole, the lines represent djuwany, the cabbage tree palm.
Wanakawu (freshwater goanna)
The water goanna is the same for Bottom Djapu - it's special same as the shark. We make very special dance and songs for wankawu. This goanna lives in his hole. The lines (crosshatching) represent Botton Djapu. There are yalada, brolga tracks, going up and down to the hole where wankawu is. The lines on the wankawu is the sunshine, we call it walu, and the wankawu is looking back at the sun.
The place of this bark painting is Dhakarriy. These paintings come from part of our land Dhurruputjpi.".
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2018-2019 28 Sept-18 Aug, Dresden, Stifting Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Shine on Me: The Sun and Us
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number