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Dhanggi (Yolngu name)
Planchonia careya (Latin name)
'cocky apple' (common name)
This plant belongs to the Dhuwa moiety
Cultural information about this plant:
It's very funny, the dhanggi fruit, because it's got different compartments: first, the skin, the green skin which we don't eat, and then inside the skin is another skin, but this skin looks like a little net - it's got very thin holes in the fibre - and then on the inside is the bit we eat, the fruit. It is creamy like an avocado. You just squeeze it and the outside skin tears. It's got that avocado-like stuff. Imagine mashing the avocado or whipping it, and it becomes that creamy avocado fluid, very green yellow in colour, and that's the part that we eat by sucking it out. It's actually really bitter, acidy-bitter, very strong and that's this fruit here.
A lot of these kids, young ones, they don't eat these kinds of fruits anymore and that's how the knowledge of the fruits like this will disappear. Kids don't know about it, and the fruit ripens and falls to the ground uneaten. In one of these paintings, Mulkun has shown the fruit, and in the other it hasn't formed yet.
The bark on the base of the trunk or the stem is scraped off. It's quite rough and on the inside is a red paste. It's sticky. Very, very sticky. You can use this for bark canoes, to cover holes and stop the water coming in. This same paste can be used when a family creates a fish trap. They will collect the paste in a container of paperbark or stringybark and douse it in a billabong. The family splash around and spread the poison ? it is a community event. And then the fish will rise to the surface and be harvested.
(Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs, 2017)
Botanical information about this plant:
- a small deciduous tree growing to 6 metres in height
- elliptic to almost circular leaves, with crenulate margins, typically to around 10 centimetres in length
- flowers, with distinctive white and pink stamens, often seen on the ground under the trees during the beginning of the 'build-up' (hotter weather)
- smooth ellipsoidal fruit to 7 centimetres in length
- common in woodland and forest country across northern Australia.
A botanical painting in natural pigments and ochres on eucalyptus stringy bark, depicting the native plant species 'Dha[ng]gi'. The painting features a stem in the centre of the bark with upward pointing leaves sprouting from it. The background is a red/brown ochre colour and the plant is outlined in white. There is a crosshatch pattern in yellow, white and brown behind the plant. On the reverse of the bark, the number '4635B' 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 175mm x H 460mm x D 30mm