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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Title

The rainbow serpent Narama and her sons

(1948)


Artist

Unknown

Australia


About

The rainbow serpent, Narama, lives with her sons among rocks at the mouth of the Liverpool River in central Arnhem Land. If disturbed by strangers (i.e. non-countrymen) she 'bites' their spirit, killing them. When first angered, she huffs and snorts, then reveals herself in the form of a rainbow.

from Hetti Perkins et al., 'Crossing country: the alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004


Details


Date

(1948)


Media category

Painting


Materials used

natural pigments on paper on cardboard


Dimensions

58.2 x 45.0 cm image/sheet; 76.0 x 63.4 x 3.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of the Commonwealth Government 1956


Location

Not on display


Accession number

9278


Artist information

Unknown

Works in the collection

514


Place

Where the work was made
Gunbalanya (Oenpelli)

Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Jonathan Jones, Mountford Gifts: Works from the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948, 'Mountford Gifts: Works from the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948', pg. 1-5, Sydney, 2009, 3, 4.

Margo Neale, Yiribana: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection, Sydney, 1994, 26 (colour illus.), 136, 139. plate no. 9

Hetti Perkins, Crossing country: the alchemy of western Arnhem Land art, Sydney, 2004, 143 (colour illus.), 230.

Hetti Perkins and Ken Watson, A material thing - objects from the collection, Sydney, 1999.