natural earth pigments on bark
43 x 90
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Buku Lungay Arts, NT
Private Collection, NSW
Gå]ga] is where the Dhalwa\u have established their homeland centre, inland from the mid coast of Blue Mud Bay on the Gulutji River. Gulutji is also the sacred water hole at Gå]ga] from where Barama a key Ancestral Creator Being for the Yirritja Moiety emerged in the times of the first morning. Barama, with other ‘disciples’ in ritual traversed country for the Yirritja giving the people law, ceremony and kinship structure that is adhered to today.
This Paintings depicts the freshwater at Buyku near Gulutji where a fish trap was constructed by driving stakes into the banks and across the flow of the river, filling the gaps between them with branches mud and grass. An opening was left in the middle of the trap where a paperbark basket was fixed. Fish up stream were driven down into the trap, when the fish tried to jump over it they were caught.
At Gulutji the original trap can be seen today manifest as a ‘naturally’ occurring rock barrage. Horizontal bands across the Paintings depict this with Gany’tjurr the totemic heron using it as a place to fish. Below the original trap the trapped fish are Baypi]\a or saratoga swimming up the the barrage then beaten back downstream by the fishermen into the trap and paperbark basket. Beyond the rock formation is the sacred freshwater of Gå]ga] illustrated by the diamonds - sacred miny’tji or clan owned design for Dhalwa\u owned freshwater from Gulutji.