Milminydjarrk at Garriyak (Sacred Waterholes)
Drypoint print, 32 x 25 cm, 2019
The ancestral Djan’kawu Sisters are travelling from the Yirratjingu people at Yalangbarra (on the east Arnhem mainland) west to Garriyak, south of Elcho Island. Wherever they stopped, the Djan’kawu Sisters changed their language, names, clan, ceremony and customs. They gave these things to the people. They also made Gapu Milminydjarrk or Milngurr (water holes) by driving their dhorna or ganinyidi (digging sticks) into the ground. In this work, the djanda (goanna) is entering the water hole.
The sisters gave miku (red), watharr (white) and buthjalak (yellow) ochre colours for us to paint with. We use them for the Ŋarra law ceremony, which is a cleansing ceremony. These designs also refer to our clan totem animals such as djanda (goanna), nyoka (crab), wanduma or gudumurrku (fresh water cat fish), bowarta (turkey), ŋatili (black cockatoo) and the worrudj (colourful parrot).
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