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The Macassan prahu, from Duyfken: The Aboriginal Print Portfolio



Dhuwarrwarr Marika


circa 1946 –

Language group: Rirratjingu, Arnhem region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Yirrkala North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    linocut, black ink on Velin Arches 200gsm white wove paper
    40.0 x 60.0 cm blockmark; 56.0 x 76.0 cm sheet
    Gift of Rabobank Australia Ltd 2007
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Dhuwarrwarr Marika. Licensed by Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Dhuwarrwarr Marika

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This limited edition print portfolio was produced in July 2006 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch-Australian relations. Sponsored by Rabobank, the portfolio was produced by the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    The title of the portfolio is drawn from the name of the first Dutch ship to land on Australian shores, the Duyfken or Little Dove. A vessel of the Dutch East India Company, the Duyfken landed on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in March 1606 and Captain William Janszoon and his men went ashore. The portfolio is based on the notion of 'first encounters' to highlight this little known fact.

    The Duyfken portfolio brings together 10 Indigenous artists from across the country with diverse art practices, resulting in an important collection of works that explore the notion of 'first encounters' in a number of ways and shed light on the exchanges that took place with a number of countries prior to colonisation.

    The documentation for this print states:

    "For some 300 years, until the beginning of the twentieth century, Macassan fishermen from what is now Sulawesi in Indonesia used to sail to the northern shores of Australia every monsoon season to collect sea cucumbers (trepang). They introduced metal to the Yolngu (Aboriginal people of eastern Arnhem Land) as well as words which are still in use today: the Yolngu word for 'outsider' is balanda, a variation on the word 'Hollander'. The prahu, with its distinctive sails and two rudders, is shown with its crew, the cargo of sacks of rice, trepang, and swords and axes. The background design is the Rirratjingu clan design for water".

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duyfken, The Netherlands, 2006, (colour illus.). Commemorative brochure, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    • Anne Virgo (Editor), Australian Print Workshop bulletin, 'Duyfken Folio', pg. 4, Fitzroy, 2007.

Other works by Dhuwarrwarr Marika