Dumabiyandangwa - Kestrel
attrib. Mangangina Wurramara
1919 - 1984
The sea-eagle, iniwakada (Haliastur Indus), starting from Wunda-wunda, near Bennett Bay, was flying towards Groote Eylandt when, at Anabura-madja just off the south-east corner of Bickerton Island, he saw and caught a garfish, maracuru. The sea-eagle carried the garfish first to Bartalumba Point, then southward along the western coast of Groote Eylandt to Neira-madja, on the lower south-east corner. After the sea-eagle has eaten the fish he collected many sticks, and built himself a nest on a cliff. Today that nest is a pillar of rock many feet in height. The eagle went to sleep at Imuakada, then woke up and, when soaring in the sky, saw the garfish, maracuru, caught and ate it. Although the white feathers on the neck and rump of the sea-eagle are indicated, the wings of this large eagle are given little emphasis. The markings on the body indicate the feathers.
[Charles P. Mountford, 'Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land vol.1: Art, myth and symbolism', pg. 69]
Sea eagle Kestrel
natural pigments on bark
40.7 x 68.6 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the Commonwealth Government 1956
Not on display
© Estate of Mangangina Wurramara
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997
ochre: bark paintings from the Collection (2000-01), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2000–06 May 2001
Mountford Gifts: Works from the American Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Mar 2009–03 Jun 2009
Referenced in 4 publications
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.
Margo Neale, Yiribana: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection, Sydney, 1994, 22, 23 (colour illus.), 139.
National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1956 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1956, 21. cat.no. 43; titled 'Sea Eagle'
Charles P Mountford (Editor), Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1: Art, myth and symbolism, Melbourne, 1956, 69 (illus.). plate no. 21B