Malaluba Gumana (dec)
Image: 50 x 25cm, Paper: 60 x 40cm HAHNEMUHLE
This print represents Garrimala, a billabong near the artist’s residence, the Dhalwangu clan homeland at Gangan.
Wititj is the rainbow serpent (olive python) that traveled through Gålpu clan lands and on further, during the days of early times called Wangarr. Djaykung the Javanese filesnake is a companion living in amongst the Dhatam, or waterlillies, causing ripples and rainbows (Djari) on the surface of the water (one reference in the cross hatch).
The Galpu clan miny’tji (sacred clan design behind the lillies) represents Djari (rainbows) and the power of the lightning within them. The sun shining against the scales of the snake form a prism of light like a rainbow. It also refers to the power of the storm created by Wititj, the diagonal lines representing trees that have been knocked down as Wititj moves from place to place.
As told by the artist:
‘This is Garrimala, my nandi waŋa (mother’s place). It is Galpu clan design. Only dhatham (waterlily) is all I can paint, I’m not allowed to make the deep story miny’tji (design), this is only for the men. I’m not allowed because this is important miny’tji.
When I saw the Berndt crayon drawings of my fathers (Gumuk Gumana) I wanted to do something for my nandi (mother), to keep the design for my mother. ‘
Printed June 2008