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 Creation Story
    Djang'kawu Creation Story
    Djanggawul Creation Story
    Djanggawo Creation Story
    Djanggawull Creation Story
    Djang'kawu story no. 5
    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
    188.0 x 64.8 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    IA68.1959
    Copyright
    © Mawalan Marika. Licensed by Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Mawalan Marika

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection

    16

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  • About

    bottom: At Arnhem Bay - the life cycle of the Djan'kawu Sisters. The women's blood is represented on the two circles at left. On the right side the large circle represents the flow of water, the two smaller circles, the placenta. They are shown with strings tying their legs back. The four separate circular shapes in this section represent the sacred conical mats for the female children.

    lower left: This section shows the sacred objects (rangga). Eight were planted to make shade for the children. Four other rangga (djuda trees) are shown growing at the extreme left in Ngaymil country.

    lower right: A place at Arnhem Bay where the two Sisters and Djan'kawu watch a sunrise and sunset that can be seen in the two panels on the extreme right. Djan'kawu is urinating.

    upper: Depicts a site near Milingimbi The two sisters give birth to the people of Milingimbi. The yellow figures are men and boys, the black figures women and girls. The placenta of one of the women is also depicted.

    top left: At Galiwin'ku (Elcho Island). After death the spirits of the Djan'kawu sisters receive new names. The circle in the centre is a swamp. The lines on either side depict lily leaves. The red background behind the sisters represents their grave. After this they go to the spirit land.

    top right: Depicts Djan'kawu at Yalangbara (Port Bradshaw). The sacred rangga with feathered pendants is shown. Djan'kawu (also identified in the original documentation as Mawalan, the artist) is shown looking at the rangga and singing. The cross-hatching in this section represents earth and grass.

    © Information provided by the artist

    Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Yirrkala

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 8 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 18 publications

Other works by Mawalan Marika

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