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1985.0259.0010 is one of 32 bark paintings and 30 artefacts that appear on Davidson's collection list under the heading 'Notes on bark paintings ? Wawilak Age Grading Ceremony ? Dhuwa Moiety'. The following explanation comprises two parts: a general account that precedes the individual descriptions of works and the description for1985.0259.0010.
The two sisters and one child commenced the journey to Mirramina when the second child was born. As they travelled, they chanted sacred place names and touched with their sacred yam sticks flora and fauna which became totems for the Dhuwa Moiety. At Mirramina, the younger sister, after the birth of her child, washed in the sacred waterhole. The scent of the blood enraged Yurrlungurr who swallowed the sisters and children. As the Wawilak and Yurrlungurr were all of the Dhuwa Moiety, this act was a grave breach of totemic law.
In great disgrace, Yurrlungurr fell down from his erect position and made the elongated triangular indentation in the sand. This shape is faithfully reproduced to form the ceremonial ground for the Wawilak Ceremony.
The Wawilak painting created by Dawidi is a style that ceased with Dawidi's death (Collection list for Davidson collection, p. 1.
A north-east Arnhem Land version*. It is interesting to note that only three figures are shown as only one child was with the sisters when they left on their journey. In this version many of the ceremonial items are shown. The forked sticks used for making camp. Pandanus palms around Mirramina. The inverted triangular ceremonial ground. The footprints to indicate the journey. Sacred dillybags, yam sticks and singing sticks.
Note: The python Yulungurr at Milingimbi has the inside name of [omitted]. At Yirrkala, the inside name is [omitted] so in discussing the paintings from Yirrkala we will use the outside name of Julunggul (Collection list for Davidson collection, p. 2).
*the explanation for 1985.0259.0010 follows on from the explanations for nine paintings by artists at Milingimbi. 1985.0259.0010 is the first of four paintings by Yirrkala artists on this theme.
A bark painting worked with ochres on bark and on wooden restrainers. It depicts in the centre three figures surrounded by a large python with three other figures depicted inside the python. There is a black elongated shape on the left and a rectangular black shape at the foot of the painting.
W 635mm x H 1640mm x D 50mm
Verified by D Kaus 29/10/2012
Place of issue