HELEN GANALMIRRIWUY GARRAWURRA
Djirriḏiḏi (Forest kingfisher) – single diagonal. Garrawurra body paint design –

$341.20

HELEN GANALMIRRIWUY GARRAWURRA
29 x 12.5cm / HOLLOW LOG – Ochre on Wood
2023

In stock

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Description

“Ŋunhi balaŋ Ŋärra dhiyal, ŋayi balaŋ nhäŋu dhuwal, Yolŋuy. Or Ŋäpaki. Nhä nhapurruŋ, Garrawurraw mala”.

“If there is a Ŋärra here, Yolŋu will see this. Or white people. [They will see] what is ours, the Garrawurra.”

The ancestral Djaŋ’kawu Sisters are travelling from the Rirratjiŋu country at Yalaŋbara on the East Arnhem Land mainland, to the Djapu clan lands further south, where they sing with biḻma (clapsticks) and yiḏaki (didgeridoo). They then travel west, first to the Ḏäṯiwuy clan lands and then on to Gärriyak, south of Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island). We [the Garrawurra people] sing two songs about them with biḻma. They aren’t really songs, they are stories.

Wherever they stopped, the Djaŋ’kawu Sisters changed their language, names, clan, ceremony and customs. They gave these things to the people at each place. They also made Gapu Milminydjarrk or Milngurr (water holes) by poking their dhoṉa (digging sticks) into the ground. Some of these waters are sacred but some are alright to drink from.

The Sisters gave miku (red), watharr (white) and buthalak (yellow) ochre colours for us to paint with. We use them for the Ŋärra law ceremony, which is a cleansing ceremony. These designs also refer to our clan totem animals, Nyoka (crab), Weḏu (freshwater catfish), Buwaṯa (Bush Turkey), Ŋaṯili (Red-tailed Black Cockatoo), Worrutj (Red-collared lorikeet) and Djirriḏiḏi (Forest Kingfisher. The colours as used in these designs are themselves generally referred to as Djirriḏiḏi or as Weḏu.

The single diagonal stripe, depicted in this artwork, is worn by men and boys who have been initiated in Dhapi and is used only during the Ŋärra ceremony. A second intersecting stripe is added in the final stages of the ceremony, for the buku-ḻup (cleansing). The painting of this cross, is known as gurriri gurkmirr. It signifies a return to the Garrawurra clan homeland, Gärriyak.

Additional information

SKU: 284-232023 Category: Tag: