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Mardayin at Milmilngkan



John Mawurndjul


1952 –

Language group: Kuninjku, Arnhem region

Artist profile

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Maningrida Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    hard-ground etching, black ink on white wove Velin Arches 250gsm paper
    64.0 x 34.5 cm platemark; 76.0 x 56.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. beneath platemark, pencil "JOHNNY". Not dated.

    Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 2004
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © John Mawurndjul, Maningrida Arts and Culture/Copyright Agency

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    Artist information
    John Mawurndjul

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This work by Mawurndjul concerns a major patrimoeity ceremony of a secret and sacred nature called Mardayin. Much of the meaning of the iconography in the painting is not in the domain of public knowledge and so it cannot be explained in detail here.

    "Yoh Milmilngkan maneh yina kunronj manekke mane yi-na. Ka-bo-bebme. Djal njamed 'spring'."
    Yes, this is the site at Milmilngkan and these represent water, you can see here. The water comes out [the little round dots are water/springs]. They are springs.

    "Kam-borrolkan Milmilngkan kunred but manekke njamed ka-karrme man-djimdjim spring kunronj kam-bobebme. Ngalyod might be kanjdiji mayh ka-yo ngalyod. Mani rarrk nga-bimbom. Kunred manekke. Kuning ka-yime bonj ka-borrohdolkan nga-nang boyen."
    The water comes out at Milmilngkan and there are springs there surrounded by water pandanus (Pandanus aquaticus) where the water comes out of the ground. This might be caused by rainbow serpents which live under the ground there. This is all cross-hatched here. The cross-hatching represents the country there. That's what happens there, I've recently seen the water coming up out of the ground there.

    NOTE: Milmilngkan is another of Mawurndjul's seasonal camps where he has a house there on the edge of a small creek.

    © Information provided by Maningrida Arts & Culture, 2004

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by John Mawurndjul

See all 26 works