Bamugora are objects that hold both function and metaphor for child conception, birth, women’s business, coming of age and death. A bamugora is a womb that holds a fertile egg, and a fishing net that catches the newborn. It is a tool for young men and women during initiation, protection from sun, wind, rain and insects, a ground cover and a shelter for a mother and her newborn, and protection for an elder nearing the end of life.
Today bamugora are typically made as two-dimensional surfaces that decorate walls and floors, however up until the 1930’s, bamugora were woven into triangular shapes with two sides. Raki, (string), was attached to the top of the triangle making it easy to carry Bamugora in its flattened and folded form. When the two sides of bamugora are opened they form a conical shelter. They can also be flattened to make a ground cover, or wrapped around the body of a child or the waist of an adult.
*Bamugora is the Burarra term for these objects. They are known as ŋaṉmarra in Djambarrpuyngu, and are sometimes also referred to simply as mät (mat).
Interested in this artwork but thinking about a commission? Email us to discuss the details.