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An image of Djan'kawu creation story by Mawalan Marika

Mawalan Marika

(Australia circa 1908 – 26 Nov 1967)

Language group
Rirratjingu, Arnhem region
Djan'kawu creation story, from the series Djan'kawu story
Other titles:
Djang'kawu myth no. 2
Djannggawo myth no. 2
Djanggawul myth no. 2
Djanggawull myth no. 2
Djang'kawu story no. 2
Place of origin
YirrkalaNorth-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on bark

190.5 x 63.5 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
Accession number
© Mawalan Marika. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

bottom: The goanna (djanda) is depicted in the centre while on either side are shown male and female goannas on the sandhills at Yalangbara (Port Bradshaw). Djanda is represented lying on a large rock. The semi-circles are goanna holes while the zig-zag lines are the tracks of the goanna going into holes in the rock.

lower left: This section shows goanna tracks through the sandhills.

lower right: The wild turkey is depicted eating wild berries and nuts.

upper left: Flying foxes are depicted in a gadmura tree.

upper right: The goanna (djanda) is shown with a 'singing tree' (casuarina).

top left: A male and two female goannas play in the sand.

top right: The camp of Djan'kawu and his sisters. He calls out names of the related clan language groups of the area. They are depicted by the squares. Black inner corner Rirratjingu, black upper square Marrakulu, top red Djarlwark, lower square Ngaymil.

The cross-hatching shows aspects of the environment such as sandhills, sand falling away as the goanna travels across the sandhill, goanna tracks, the wild turkey nest, etc.

© Information provided by the artist

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Bibliography (2)

Margie West (Editor), Yalangbara: art of the Djang'kawu, Darwin, 2008, 46 (colour illus.).

Look, 'End of a dream ... almost!', pg. 13, South Yarra, Nov 2000, 13 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

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

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

Yalangbara, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 May 2006–23 Jul 2006

Yalangbara: art of the Djang'kawu: