40 x 40cm Paper: BFK RIVES 56 x 66cm
The varying states and movement of sacred water is pivotal to Yolŋu philosophies. The journey of freshwater down river to meet the salt, the tidal ebb and flow, the rough and the calm are the basis or rhythm of sacred manikay (ritual song). The fields of diamond design represent the sacred qualities of the freshwater of Gäṉgaṉ. This design belongs only to the Dhalwaŋu clan. Barama (often shown as Minhala- the long necked freshwater tortoise) came from the saltwater, that capacity coming up through the freshwater. Gany’tjurr the Reef heron is an archetype of the Yirritja spear hunter who can be found in fresh or salt environs. Dhakawa the ancestral freshwater crayfish uses its gigantic tail to keep the entrance to the font from which Barama emerged clear of any obstacle. The powers within the water has both entered the Diltji or bone and comes from it. This diamond design was imprinted at the moment the sanctified waters imbued with sacred silt streamed down the sunlit chest of Barama as he emerged.
Printed June 2015