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Wäwuru (Yolngu name)
Mimusops elengi (Latin name)
'mimusops' (Common name)
This plant belongs to the Yirritja moiety
Cultural information about this plant:
This is a popular fruit which we often find behind the beaches, in the sand dunes where the retja (tropical rainforest, jungle) and the rangi (beach) meet. In this mixed landscape, we get large clear sandy dunes with clumps of trees and vines grouped together like the aisles of a supermarket. We can move from one pocket to the next and find all our favourite fruits grouped together. You can find small accessible wäwuru, wundan (black plum), wungapu (wild prune) djin'pu (fig), larrani (bush apple) trees all growing intertwined. It's a safe environment for djamarrkuli (children), so they can run free and race each other from one fruit forest to the next. These fruits grow close to the ground so they can eat their fill.
The Yirritja songs of the North Wind tell that this fruit is now ripe (September-November). The leaves are beautiful because they never fully flatten out, and with the orange to dark red fruit on them they are easily spotted.
(Written by Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs, 2017)
Botanical information about this plant:
- a large tree growing to 13 metres in height; bark is dark grey to black, hard, fissured or somewhat tessellated
- elliptic leaves to 14 centimetres in length and 6 centimetres in width
- solitary white or cream sweetly scented flowers
- fruit in the form of a globular berry, initially green and hairy but ripening orange-red or red and becoming shiny
- grows in well-drained areas in jungles and savannas in near coastal areas; widespread in the far northern coastal areas of Australia.
A botanical painting in natural pigments and ochres on eucalyptus stringy bark, depicting the native plant species 'Wawuru' [not 'Dilminyin' as written on the reverse of the bark]. The painting is landscape in orientation and features two plants side by side. Each plant is coloured red with white outlines and details. The plant on the right has a low hanging branch with a leaves, fruits or nuts on it. The background features red, white, black, yellow and beige crosshatching. On the reverse of the bark, the number '4326K' is handwritten in black ink, and there is a 'BUKU-LARRNGAY MULKA' adhesive label attached, including the artist's name and other details.
The collection consists of nine larrakitj, or painted hollow logs, and 113 bark paintings painted between 2011 and 2014 by Mulkun Wirrpanda, a senior female Yolngu artist at Yirrkala in north east Arnhem Land. These works are a product of Wirrpanda's interest in documenting the ecology of her country following her participation in a joint project with non-Indigeous artists, printmakers and academics, charting the country and yam supply at Blue Mud Bay.
The works in this collection provide a unique visual record of Yolngu knowledge of plants and food-bearing and medicinal species. Wirrpanda depicts aspects of the plants' life cycle across numerous works, including the gestational period through to fruiting and the interconnections between the food source and the extensive freshwater flood plains and rivers, beaches, sandhills, salt flats and estuaries in her Yolngu country.
W 303mm x H 155mm x D 20mm