Djanda ga Milminydjarrk (Goanna and sacred waterhole) (#280-17)

Earth pigment on bark, 80 x 30 cm, 2017

This work depicts the djanda (goanna), a totem animal of dhuwa moiety clans including the Datiwuy clan.

There are two djanda in this painting however they represent a singular djanda as it goes in and comes out of Gapu Milminydjarrk (sacred waterholes). Manydjarri explains that the djanda is walking into the milminydjarrk and then coming out and going to his hole or burrow in the earth.

Traditionally, and still today, this design is painted onto the chest of young boys going into Dhapi (coming of age) ceremony. It can also be painted onto bodies during the Ngarra (cleansing) or Bäpurru (funeral) ceremonies. Wilson explains that during Bäpurru in the old time the design was painted on the body of the dead person today the design is painted on the body as well as on the coffin.

This rarrk is called Nganak. It is only used to signify the tracks of goanna going in and out of the Milminydjarrk and is always limited to a palette of yellow, red and white.


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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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