Dhukururru at Miliway (Sacred Rock at Miliway) (#142-19)

10 x 20cm

This etching depicts a Dhukururru or sacred rock that sits at Miliway, near Laŋarra (Howard Island), Yatjany’s father country. Along with other initiated men, the artist also paints this miny’tji (clan design) onto the chest’s of young boys during Dhapi and Ŋärra law ceremonies. The artist also paints this design onto bark.

The triangular shape at the top of the Dhukururru is the Ḻiya (head). The long, connected, diamond shapes are Latjin (mangrove worms). The two triangles at the bottom of the piece are Galdaḻ (legs). They are also the tail of the Ŋuykal (giant trevally). Ŋuykal represents the ceremonial connection between saltwater Yirritja clans. Whilst the Ŋuykal links the Yirritja country east and west of Dhälinbuy, Wobulkarra Manydjikay are the owners of Ŋuykal miny’tji ga manikay, and only Wobulkarra have authority to paint and sing Ŋuykal. 

When painted, the Dhukururru head and legs are yellow. The latjin can be white, yellow, red, or black, each colour representing the latjin at a different stage of growth and decay. White represents immature ḻatjin, yellow – raw ḻatjin, red – cooked, and black – rotten. 

Latjin is an important food source that is easily collected at Laŋarra. The worm burrows inside of the Giyapara (Yirritja mangrove tree). To harvest latjin the tree is cut down and cut open so that the worm can be removed with fingers or a stick.


10 in stock

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Milingimbi Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation

The Milingimbi Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation is a community owned Art Centre that maintains an important position in the national art and cultural arena. Milingimbi Art and Culture has a long history of producing works steeped in active cultural practice such as barks, ceremonial poles, carvings and weavings. Works from Milingimbi are integral to important collections in many National and International institutions.


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