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Title

The dugong

1948

Artist

Unknown

Australia

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Groote Eylandt Northern Territory Australia
    Date
    1948
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    Dimensions
    35.6 x 63.5 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of the Commonwealth Government 1956
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    9263
    Copyright
    © the artist courtesy Anindilyakwa Arts and Cultural Centre
    Artist information
    Unknown

    Works in the collection

    937

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  • About

    Adjira-madja is an increase centre for dugongs….The dugong, a sea mammal, has come to the surface to breathe. When the Aboriginal people see the creature submerge, they paddle to that place and sing the magical chant which exhorts it to return to the surface at the same spot. If the dugong obeys the chant, it is killed.

    [The dugong] is the painting of the dugong, the flesh of which is a favourite food of the Aboriginal people. The conventionalised designs on the body represent the skin markings of the animal.

    [Charles P. Mountford, 'Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land vol.1: Art, myth and symbolism', pg. 67]

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Groote Eylandt

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

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