Prints – Etching
25 x 50cm Paper: HAHNEMUHLE 41 x 61cm
Yarrinya gapu 54D
This story is of my mother’s Munyuku clan design, inspired by the late and ritual specialist and artist Dula Ŋurruwuttun. It is associated with the ancestral events relating to the death of the ancestral whale called Mirinyu]u on the beaches of the Munyuku saltwater estate of Yarrinya within blue mud bay.
In ancestral times, Waṉarr, and the ancestral whale called Mirinyuṉu were living in the ocean at Yarrinya. The whale, being Munyuku, was in its own country. Munyuku spirit men called Wurramala or Matjitji lived and hunted in this country. According to Yolṉu kinship classifications, the whale is the brother of these men. They killed their brother Mirinyuṉu, who eventually washed up on to the beach, contaminating it with blood and fat turning putrid. This is how the Wurramala found the whale on the beach. They used stones knives, Garapana. The tail severed from its body, the men then cut the body of the whale in to long strips. In (self) disgust they then threw the knives out to sea.
The direction of the bands of miny’tji (sacred clan design) relate to the sacred saltwater of Yarrinya, the chop of the surface of the water and the ancestral powers emanating from it.
The name for this water is Munbuyṉa.
This print represents the gapu(water) from around the bones of the whale coming up to the top. The dots on top of the lines represent the bubbles.
If you look out to sea from Yarrinya you can see a rock with rough water around it, This is the place for Ŋaraka(bones) of the Mirinyuṉu (whale).
Printed May 2009