Earth pigments on Stringybark
177 x 64
Wititj is the all powerful rainbow serpent that travelled through Galpu clan lands and on further, during the days of early times called Waŋarr.
This painting depicts events pertaining to Wititj, ie storm and monsoon, in the ancestral past. This place depicted here is surrounded by Gulwirri – palms
The sacred clan design for Galpu country has been used in this painting to identify the surface of the smooth water, showing the representations of rainbow reflections, similar to an oil slick, to that of the skin of the olive python Wititj. The rainbow is sang and comes reflecting the colours of the powerful Witij the rainbow Serpent. The sun shines off the wet leaves the dancers wave in ceremony.
He sang for the storm and the lightning came and knocked the trees down(diagonal lines in the background design).
The structure of the image is of the spiritual geography of the place known as Muypan or Goyder River in English.
This place is a Ringitj (or consular ceremonial) zone wherein the songs have enshrined embassy rights to different Dhuwa clan groups who have a role in the overall songline to gather with impunity at this focal point of the narrative.
The groups so linked in this site are those the artist described as ‘the Wititj mob’. Those with connection to the Ancestral Olive Python or Rainbow Serpent whose activities herald tempest. Another linking reference is Djerrka -the Water Goanna manifesting the Dhuwa Creation sisters. Also known as Lilama, Bokminy, Djiltjila (deep names). These clans are Wawilak, Djarrwark, Galpu, Marrakulu, Golumala and Rirratjiŋu.
The Galpu therefore have rights to this area through these connections of song and painting including body painting.
One of the motifs associated with these sisters and present at the site are Gulwirri- the Fan Palm. This can be read as the digging stick of the Sisters bedecked with ceremonial feathered objects.
The life force within the waters is shown by dots. The activities of these Creation beings imbued the water with this power.