Nyaluŋ, Dundiwuy #2 Munuŋgurr (dec)
Colour reduction linocut
Image: 34 x 49cm, Paper: 55 x 68cm
As told by the artist:
‘In this picture you can see the Yolŋu people sharing, celebrating and coming together from different clans. This shows that the Yolŋu are connected in their culture. And you can now see in the print that everyone is happy; dancing, smiling and getting to know each other. I describe Yolŋu as one language, one culture and one community of people. And this is how we know each other; that we have a strong feeling in our culture. It comes from our ancestry from thousands of years. The Yolŋu know where they are. The sound of the yidaki (digeridoo), bilma (clapsticks) and manikay (song). Even crying connects us all to our country that relates to each clan through clouds, the rain, the sound of the echo, the water, the stars, the lightning and the wind. We are connected to everything in nature. It speaks to us.
The turtle in the picture is named Marrpaṉ. That is the biggest turtle. It is Dhuwa moiety. Several clans sing the Marrpaṉ manikay (traditional turtle song). You can see the turtle being cooked in what is called a Waṉ’tjurr, a type of underground cooking process. We welcome people from the other clans. However, there are certain laws about who gets the meat first. The Djuŋgaya (the senior custodian), he is the Buŋgawa (the boss of the proceedings). The clans who are connected to the Marrpaṉ manikay are the first people to come and taste the turtle. Then the hunters get the next share of meat and then after that the meat is shared amongst the community. During this time people will also be singing the Marrpaṉ manikay. Everyone joins in and is happy. Manymak (good).’