The pink colour that features in this piece is created by dying gunga using plant materials harvested in the rocky country around Balbungu’s Homeland near Maningrida on the mainland. Plants used to make pink and purple dyes do not grow on the Crocodile Islands.
Gunga (pandanus) belongs to the Dhuwa moiety and grows throughout East Arnhen Land in woodlands and sand dunes. The central growing spike of leaves is harvested from the crown. The leaf is folded in half lengths ways and the fine serrated edges and central spin removed. This is achieved by running a fingernail or sharp needle down each side of the folded leaf. This action creates two pieces that are then peeledby pulling the front and back away from each other to expose the inner membrane of the leaf.