Latjin ga Birku’ are two totems belonging to the Manydjikay clan. They are painted onto the chest of young men during Dhapi (Initiation ceremony).
Birku’ are ceremonial fighting sticks. They have ends shaped like the tail of
the Ŋuykal (giant trevally). The rärrk on the length of the stick represents saltwater currents.Birku’ are not used for real fighting. When the two Manydjikay clans come together for a bäpurru (funeral) they carry their Birku’ and perform the Birku’ buŋgul (dance). Wobulkarra Birku’ are red and yellow. Dhaliny Birku’ are white and black. The Birku’ in this etching belong to the Wobulkarra.
Latjin are mangrove worms that live in the Giyapara (mangrove tree). In this miny’tji latjin are represented by the linked diamond shapes on the outer regions of the work. Latjin are also an abundant food source on the Wobulkarra Manydjikay homeland of Laŋarra (Howard Island).