Manburi, Birrinymal ga Burala – Gupapuyŋu memorial pole design



1 in stock

SKU: 257-212021 Category: Tag:



Category: PAINTING

Size/ medium: 97 x 37 cm / PAINTING – Ochre on Bark

This painting depicts important totems belonging to the Gupapuyŋu clan that are shared through a riŋgitj song cycle with other Yirritja clans. In this work it shows Manburi (Catfish), its fine white birrinymal (sacred bones) and Burala (Darter, or Diving Bird). The long dotted lines that run along the painting depict the backbone of the manburi. These totems are used in mortuary rights. This means they are never painted on the body, only on djaḻumbu (hollow log coffin) and the burala (ceremonial bullroarer), which represents the wing of the bird that it takes it name from.

Our staff have attached aluminium strapping to the back of this artwork. It is ready to hang.

When a Gupapuyŋu person dies their leaders gather manburi birrinymal (catfish bones), lumbalumba birrinymal (emu bones) and Yolŋu birrinymal (human bones). The birrinymal are painted with Gupapuyŋu designs using gamunuŋgu (white ochre) and guku (native honey). The birrinymal are then crushed and put inside a maḏayin bathi (sacred dilly bag). The maḏayin bathi is then worn by senior men while they dance buŋgul (ceremony). Throughout the buŋgul the men remove birrinymal from the bathi and place them inside the djaḻumbu (hollow log coffin).