We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Djan'kawu creation story , from the series Djan'kawu story

1959

Artist

Mawalan Marika

Australia

circa 1908 - 26 Nov 1967

Language group

Rirratjingu, Arnhem region

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Djanggawo myth no. 4
    Djanggawull myth no. 4
    Djanggawul myth no. 4
    Djang'kawu story no. 4
    Place where the work was made
    Yirrkala North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Date
    1959
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    Dimensions
    193.0 x 57.2 cm (irreg.)
    Credit
    Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
    Location
    20th & 21st c Australian art
    Accession number
    IA67.1959
    Copyright
    © Mawalan Marika. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Mawalan Marika

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection

    16

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  • About

    bottom left: The Djan'kawu are still at Port Bradshaw but on the southern side. They left their sacred armbands at one of their camps. The lines represent the feathered pendants hanging from the armband.

    bottom right: A fruit with an edible root like a lily or cassava is depicted. At the centre is the root or stem while the radiating lines represent the fruit.

    lower left: A female goanna (djanda) with her head under a stone. She is digging for food.

    lower right: Wild inedible fruit growing on a palm.

    upper left: Leaving there the Djan'kawu walked further. At a resting place they planted two rangga which became wild apple trees.

    upper right: The Djan'kawu went back to the beach where they saw a male goanna eating a sand crab. The crab is shown in its hole in the sand.

    top left: Two stones are depicted. When the Djan'kawu reached the stones they heard sounds that turned out to be Macassans treating trepang (sea cucumber).

    top right: In the sea are underwater sandbanks. The central circle depicts a very deep hole. The radiating lines represent ripples on the sand while the dots represent trepang on one side and shellfish on the other.

    The cross-hatching in this painting represents such aspects of the environment as the sea, leaves, swamps, sand, sand disturbed by digging and waves breaking over shallow water.

    © Information provided by the artist

    Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Yirrkala

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

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