image size: 66 x 46.5cm, paper size 75.5 x 57cm
As told by the artist:
‘The design shows Baṉumbirr (morning star ceremony) The ceremony comes from the string bags, when men prepare for a sacred ceremony, they sit under Rripipi / Ḏawu (ficus virens, Banyan tree) and sing. The name Rripipi aslo refers to a place where spirit people live. This large spreading shade tree occurs in monsoon forests, with white to purple edible fruit.
The Baṉumbirr ceremony is performed in memory of member or close relatives of the Djapu Clans. The sacred ceremonial dharpa (wooden pole) called Guyu`un is decorated by men to use in the Baṉumbirr ceremony.
When we have Baṉumbirr ceremony a special name is used called Bukuwuṯ, it means giving. The yolŋu (people from N.E.Arnhemland) preform this giving through the Guyu`un (wooden pole) and Dhaŋthaŋ (feathered string), as the Mundhurr (the gift) it makes the Yolŋu manymak (feeling good) being presented through the Baṉumbirr ceremory.
At sunrise when the morning star is still visible, the yidaki (didgeridoo) drone is heard it represents mokuy (spirit people) called all yolŋu together to dance the Ba]umbirr.
The djuŋgaya (ceremonial spokesperson) for the Djapu clan is always there, with the responsibility to give out the dhaŋthaŋ (feather string), possessing the yothu (child) relationship of the clan.
The Baṉumbirr ceremony is only for dhuwa clans Rirratjiŋu,Gälpu, Datiwuy, Naymil, Djapu, Dhudi-Djapu and Djambarrpuyŋu.
This work shows the Morning Star and all the smaller stars.’