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Wangarra Spirit Being



England Banggala


circa 1925 – Dec 2001

Language group: Burarra, Arnhem region

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    ochre on carved wood
    288.5 x 24.5 x 20.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1985
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of England Banggala/Copyright Agency
    Artist information
    England Banggala

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Non ceremonial figure carving representing the devil spirit called Wangarra from a jungle area a few miles from the artist's home. The spirit inhabits the An-ngiliny clan waterhole called Wangarra A-juwana. This is a dense patch of jungle with a network of creeks that is adjoined by the two large billabongs called Boporlinymarr and Birduk Mu-yerrnyjiya.

    The painting depicts five wangarra figures and four rocks which lie inside the water at Wangarra A-juwana. Across the centre of the painting is a band which represents a small creek that runs through Wangarra A-juwana. Two of the wanagarra spirits share one arm; this represents the water running from the little creeks, flowing out into all corners of the patch of jungle.

    On the edge of the water at Wangarra A-juwana stands a huge banyan tree. The wangarra spirits live inside this tree. at times the tree opens up, and the wangarra spirits come out and go down into the water where they lie inside the rocks. The spirits can lure and trap people inside the banyan tree, which is one reason why Wangarra A-juwana is a dangerous place for those who do not have the right authority to go there. Whan Banggala enters this place he calls out to his ancestors to identify himself as a rightful member of the An-nguliny clan, so that he and his companians are protected from the spirits that live there.

    Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Central Arnhem Land

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by England Banggala

See all 5 works