Skip to content


An image of Dhämala Story (sea eagle, catfish and king brown snake) by Dr David Malangi

Dr David Malangi

(Australia 1927 – 19 Jun 1999)

Language group
Manyarrngu, Arnhem region
Dhämala Story (sea eagle, catfish and king brown snake)
Other titles:
Sea Eagle, catfish and King Brown snake
Place of origin
RaminginingCentral Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark

75.0 x 41.0 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

The eagle tree stands just there where the conch shell is on the eastern bank of the mouth. Coming from the bush the Damala (White bellied sea eagle) going down to the saltwater – the river mouth. This country: he grew up there because he was created there and made his families grow there – this is the right country; Dhuwa country because this is his country.

A special tree – Ngurrunyuwa. See that tree it is the wattle tree; is still there and the eagle is not an ordinary eagle, it is from that country, not from another place or another eagle, it is sitting on the important tree. She made a nest and raised the eaglets. Looking at the tide to get the fish.

The Darrpa snake (king brown) is living there too, just like family for the Damala.

[Art Centre documentation]

Bibliography (2)

Susan Jenkins (Editor), No ordinary place: the art of David Malangi, Canberra, 2004, 88 (colour illus.).

Cara Pinchbeck, Look, 'The Dreamers: Artists who revolutionised Aboriginal art', pg. 24-27, Newtown, Aug 2009, 24, 26 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (3)

Bulada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Aug 1997–14 Dec 1997

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