40 x 40cm
This describes an incident in Gunybi’s life from which he still bears the scars. Whilst fishing in Blue Mud Bay with his family and two other men at the age of 12 an accident happened.
A large wave came and struck the boat. His father and the other man were washed overboard. The boat was running at full throttle in widening circles. The young Gunybi wasn’t able to control the boat. This image shows the moment where he chose to jump overboard to stay with his father.
The boat continued to circle and ran over his father as he tried to climb aboard. He was badly wounded in these shark and crocodile infested waters adjacent to Woodah Island. Gunybi tried and was also sliced into by the propeller the scars of which are still very obvious today on his leg and torso.
Eventually to save themselves they swam and drifted the several kilometers to Woodah Island. The boat continued to careen and eventually grounded still revving on an offshore rock bar. The young uninjured hunter Maluminy steeled himself and swam a couple of kilometers to the reef, retrieved the boat and returned to get Gunybi and his father to safety.
This incident occurred in the oceanic region known as Garrapara which is depicted in the zigzag design.
This belongs to Gunybi’s mother clan, the Dhalwangu.
The parallel wavy lines take the flow of water to the open ocean, Mungurru. It is here on the horizon that the waters from other Yirritja clans, the Madarrpa, Manggalili and Munyuku merge and mingle. The hunter’s harpoon floats incessantly between the various coastal saltwater estates of these clans. It is also here that the feminine thunderclouds take up life-giving water to rain back over the hinterlands, thence to flow through the river systems and meet the saltwater tidal surge. The transformation of saltwater into fresh and back into salt mirrors the soul as it changes its outward form from corporeal to ethereal and so on.
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