Murayana (spirit) looking for guku (honey)
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.
natural pigments on wood
50.5 x 10.6 x 3.8 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
© Lipundja. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 1 publication
Unknown and Unknown, A material thing - objects from the collection, Sydney, 1999.