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



Mawalan Marika


circa 1908 – 26 Nov 1967

Language group: Rirratjingu, Arnhem region

Artist profile

  • 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
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    193.0 x 57.2 cm (irreg.)
    Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Mawalan Marika. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Mawalan Marika

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • 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


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Mawalan Marika

See all 16 works