Artist: HARRY WIRRIMBITJ
Size/ medium: 20 x 10 cm / PRINT – Etching
This Giyapara or Yulumuru or Banydjurr is the sacred mangrove tree for Wangurri and all other Manydjikay people. Each Manydjikay clan has a different name for this one.
It stands at the djarŋgulk (river) where it meets the open ocean. That area is called Dhälinybuy – the area from the mouth of the Cato river, all the way up. That’s the European name for the river. This is Wangurri Munyarryun country.
When the tide is out the river water is fresh. When the tide is in the river water is salty. When it is half way down, it is little bit salty but when it is all the way out to where our buildings are, we know the water is fresh.
The triangular shape that sits on top is the galipiya or baltha. It is the head. The shaded area in its centre is gayilinydjil. It is also the head but it is different – it is the Manydjikay Yolŋu head. When I paint this miny’tji (design) the triangle area is yellow and the inside is white. It is white like the head of the ḻatjin (mangrove worm).
The shapes inside the two main rectangles are the ḻatjin. They are going inside and eating the giyapara (mangrove tree).
The rärrk (cross hatching) that runs down through the middle and across the top and bottom is räŋ – the white residue left after the salt water has evaporated. When we put black and no rärrk then it is empty – the latjin has eaten the giyapara.
The triangles at the bottom are the teeth of the ḻatjin, as are the lines sticking out from the right and left border of the main rectangle.
Ḻatjin and milka are two kinds of mangrove worm you can find at Dhälinybuy. Both are good ŋatha (food). You can find milka at other places but Dhälinybuy milka is different. When it grows in the freshwater there, it is the same size as ḻatjin and it’s not salty. You can find milka at Yurrwi but you must cook it before you eat it otherwise it has a spicy taste. In Dhälinbuy it tastes sweet.
The songline for Giyapara goes to Ganbaltji (Mission Bay) at Galiwin’ku then Laŋarra, Warrawurr, Guḻumarri 1 (near Maṯamaṯa) and Guḻumarri 2 (near Galiwin’ku), Yurrwi and last Yilan.