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An image of River mouth map by Dr David Malangi

Dr David Malangi

(Australia 1927 – 19 Jun 1999)

Language group
Manyarrngu, Arnhem region
River mouth map
Other titles:
Abstract Glyde River mouth map
Place of origin
Central Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on bark

136.0 x 73.0 cm (irreg.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 1984
Accession number
© Dr David Malangi/Bula'bula Arts. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Not on display
Further information

This Dhamala is the river mouth where there are different types of shells and fish, then the same area, maybe two creeks. Datam – waterlily roots; Rakay, circle (water chesnut); freshwater but in the saltwater on a mud flat. This is our traditional area and that is why we don’t want any mining or balanda fishing there.

The river where we were walking is where our dreamings are. We have grown up with our culture and have kept it. Our sacred sites, our ceremonies, and secret dreamings. My people and ancestors have lived here for a long time. In other areas too people's ancestry goes back a long way – people still retain their laws and their culture and land.

Description of painting from upper left corner, Left hand side referes to the Ngurrunyuwa (eastern bank of the river) – Garangala Rock with Lunggu, Glyde River, Raga nuts, Creeks, Beach were Gunmirringu sat, Sea eagle tree, Conch shell. The right hand side of the bark refers to Dhamala (the western side of the bank), from upper right – Milmindjarrk waterhole, Bilma (clapsticks), Dhona (sacred digging stick), mud skipper, catfish.

[Art Centre documentation]

Bibliography (4)

Jonathan Cooper (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin, 'Yiribana Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Gallery', pg. 24-25, Sydney, May 1996-Jul 1996, 25 (colour illus.).

Susan Jenkins (Editor), No ordinary place: the art of David Malangi, Canberra, 2004, 78 (colour illus.).

Bernice Murphy, Contemporary Australian painting, 'Aboriginal art', pg. 127-146, Roseville, 1990, 136 (illus.), 137.

Margo Neale, Yiribana: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection, Sydney, 1994, 118, 119 (colour illus.), 137, 139. plate no. 58

Exhibition history (3)

Aratjara: art of the first Australians:

No ordinary place: The art of David Malangi:

The Dreamers (2009-10), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 May 2009–15 Aug 2010