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Title

Lany'tjung & Barama proclaim the Sacred Law


Artist

Birrikidji Gumana

Australia

circa 1898 - 12 Apr 1982

Language group

Dhalwangu, Arnhem region


About

An ancestral spirit, Laintjun and his son, Barama, emerged from a sacred waterhole and proclaimed many ceremonial secrets to the first Aboriginal people of the world, including the diamond pattern body design, which represents the water of the sacred well. Here we see Laintjun and Barama explaining how to carve certain high-secret wooden symbols depicting the fresh water snake and fresh water turtle. Instead of the actual symbol the artist has here depicted the creatures they represent. The sacred diamond pattern is shown and at the top of the painting we see two water birds chasing a fresh water crayfish in the sacred billabong.

Harry Messel


Details


Other Title

Laintjun and Barama


Media category

Bark painting


Materials used

natural pigments on bark


Dimensions

84.0 x 35.0 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Harry Messel 1989


Location

Not on display


Accession number

61.1989


Artist information

Birrikidji Gumana

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Yirrkala

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


  • Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Edmund Capon, Steven Miller, Tony Tuckson, James Scougall, Mollie Gowing, Harry Messel, Craig Brush, Ronald Fine, Alison Fine, Gordon Davies, Rosalind Davies, Christopher Hodges, Helen Eager, Rosemary Gow, Sandra Phillips, Daphne Wallace and Ken Watson, Gamarada, Sydney, 1996, 55 (colour illus.).