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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Title

Murayana (spirit) looking for guku (honey)

circa 1950s


Artist

Jimmy Lipundja

Australia

1912 - 1968

Language group

Gupapuyngu, Arnhem region


About

This diminutive sculpture in flattened form is expertly carved from a single piece of timber. Its elongated arms, straightened torso and graphic facial features provide an image of stylised refinement. The controlled symmetry of the work is broken only by slight aberrations – one ear higher than the other, one arm longer and one hand featuring a stroke to give the indication of thumb and fingers.

In looking for honey this figure is swatting bees and placing the design on his chest; the design shows both the sting and swat marks. The positioning of this design on the chest and thighs of the figure echoes the positioning used when it is painted on the body as a central feature of the age-grading Birrkulda ceremony.


Details


Other Title

Carved figure


Date

circa 1950s


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

natural pigments on wood


Dimensions

50.5 x 10.6 x 3.8 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1962


Location

Not on display


Accession number

IA70.1962


Artist information

Jimmy Lipundja

Artist profile

Works in the collection

10


Place

Where the work was made
Milingimbi

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Unknown and Unknown, A material thing - objects from the collection, Sydney, 1999.