- Museum number
- Object: Wuyal at Yenawal
Painting made of bark, wood, paint (yellow-ochre, red-ochre, black, cream). Depicts the honey ancestor of the Marrakulu clan, Wuyal, and two companions at Yenawal (inland from Gurka'wuy at Trial Bay, eastern Arnhem Land); rock wallaby (dulaku) and native cat (marurrumburr or lilipi'yana). The background is a clan design, in which the white spots represent the flowers of the stringybark tree, and the stone used for making spears and axes.
- Production date
- 1980s (before 1986)
- Curator's comments
- This painting, Oc1985,07.8, was painted a few weeks after painting Oc1986,07.7, and represents the same story.
Notes from Eth Doc 1064, from artist Dundiwuy Wanambi: 'Wuyal at Yenawal. In ancestral times, Wuyal travelled across Marrakulu country from the hills behind Gurka'wuy to Wawilak clan country, inland from the Baykurrtji River. As he travelled, Wuyal felled trees to get native honey, with which he is particularly associated. Where the trees fell, rivers formed.
This painting shows Wuyal at Yenawal in the rocky hill country inland from Gurka'wuy. Yenawal is stone spear country - important because from the stones there, good quality spear and axe-heads can be made. Wuyal is also associated with this country, and with the spears and axes produced from the stone there. He is often represented carrying a paper-bark bundle of spear and axe heads, and carrying a stone spear and axe.
In this hilly country, Wuyal hunted the rock wallaby dulaku. This country is also home for the native cat, marurrumburr (or lilipi'yana). In the stringybark, gadayka, forests of the hill country, dhuwa moiety native honey, yarrpany, is plentiful in hollow trees when the strinbybark [sic] flower, wanambi, blossoms. Wuyal chopped down the trees with hives and collected the honey in his dilly bag, dimbuka.
In Marrakulu clan paintings associated with this country, the clan design has white spots which represent both the flower of the stringbark tree and the stone which is good for making spears and axes.
Marrakulu hill country is rich in important resources. Marrakulu people celebrate this country and its resources in designs, songs and ceremonies describing the ancestral events which established the country, its sites and species, the technology for exploiting them, and made all of these Marrakulu property.
As Wuyal travelled, he named many of the important Marrakulu places and sang many of the important songs. In the same way, Wuyal travelled through the country of the Wawilak, Marrangu, and Golumala clans, naming and giving country and culture. These clans are connected today by these ancestral events.
Source: Dundiwuy Wanambi.'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number