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The top panel of this painting shows the creation of Djarrakpi (Cape Shield) in northeast Arnhem Land by the Guwak (koel cuckoo), and possums. The homelands of the Manggalili clan are centred on Djarrakpi The paintings central panel relates to Manggalili mortuary ceremonies and the creation by the Nyapililngu women of the yingapungapu sand sculpture. Below are the stars of the Milky Way, which are the transformed souls of deceased Yirritja moiety people. The painting as a whole depicts the ancestrally created Manggalili lands, and includes many references to the life cycle including birth, burial, bodily decay, and spiritual transformation. The individual components of the painting are described more fully in Howard Morphy's essay 'Manggalili art and the Promised Land' in 'Painting the Land Story', edited by Luke Taylor and published in 1999 by the National Museum of Australia.
A bark painting worked with ochres on bark. The painting is divided into a number of panels with a divided central column containing human figures, a fish, a crocodile and stars, and a black bird at the top. Arranged on either side are scenes depicting various sea and land creatures and human figures. The background is decorated with wavy bands of rarrk cross-hatching on coloured dashes.
W 796mm x H 2250mm x D 33mm
Date is circa
Artist & date verified by D Kaus 27/5/2013