natural earth pigments on wood
202 x 30 x 30 cm
Please note that prices are subject to change at the discretion of the gallery.
Andrew Baker Gallery
Private Collection, Qld
2004 Kang'khan Brothers Exhibition
Dream Catchers - Featuring Maningrida, October 2012, Coo-ee Art Gallery
home is where the art is, September 2012, Coo-ee Art Gallery
Metamorphosis-Contemporary Indigenous Sculptures and Objects, October 2009, Coo-ee Art Gallery
I’Nageen Sculpture & Paintings from Aurukun, May 2009, Coo-ee Art Gallery
Maunsel Wickes, July 2007, Maunsell Wickes
The artist was one of the few remaining Kugu language speakers and was a senior lawman for the Kang’khan people of Snake river, south of Aurukun on Cape York Peninsula. He was, until hi s death in 2005, the senior carver at the Wik and Kugu Art Centre in Aurukun.
Senior singer/carver for the following sories: Two Men (Kang’khan Brothers), Thap Yongk 9Law Poles), Wallaby, Snake and Ducks.
Totems: magpie Goose/Sea Turtle (Mother)
Thap yongk (Law poles)
‘There were these two brothers . . . at the creation of the world only these two people, they were human, they left these two poles, they made . . . songs, I’m making these poles now because they left these poles and how they painted’
– Joe Ngallametta
The Thap yongk relate to the most fundamental issues of Indigenous Australian culture — the inter-relationships of land, culture and the creation time. Senior Kugu Elder Joe Ngallametta makes a direct connection between his Thap yongk and the poles made ‘at the creation of the world’.
The Thap yongk represent knowledge about people’s affiliations with the land and their responsibilities and rights within its boundaries. While this knowledge and authority are provided through the Dreaming, they play a current and ongoing role within the community. The knowledge represented by the Thap yongk is held in trust by Elders such as Ngallametta and is passed on to the younger members of the community.
Representing upturned trees, the Thap yongk extend from the ground, suggesting branches hidden beneath the earth, while the roots are at the top of the poles. The poles draw the spirit back to the ground, the ‘hidden’ branches symbolising the extensive network of stories and laws connecting people to the land and to each other.
The Thap yongk are usually only seen by the men of the community, but Ngallametta has given permission for these poles to be shared with the larger community, stating: ‘I know