This painting shows Yirritja animals and ancestral figures whose travels link Yirritja clans across Arnhem Land. Their connections are celebrated and reinforced through art, song and ceremony. This sacred clan design depicts Marrchila (Saltwater Crocodile), Gorraporda (Diving Bird), Mun-ngokngok (Southern Boobook), Rajarra (Barramundi), Gurndarra (Mullet) and Gapaṉba (Seaweed). The red circle is a ŋuḻurr, (crocodile nest) with its clutch of eggs.
The artist sings the story. Bäru, Saltwater Crocodile, came from the east, from Baykurrdji where she belonged to the Baniyala Maḏarrpa clan, travelling all the way to Gamurra Gu-yurra (south of Cape Stuart) where she eventually became Warrawarra. She got fire at Gaḏawarr (Malibirr Ganalbiŋu country) on the way, from there travelling across the saltwater to Milingimbi, crossing over at Dhamdham and laying an egg at the place where the school is now. From there she kept going to Gamurra Gu-yurra (at Garmuŋur). There she became Warrawarra. Bäru is the Yolŋu name for saltwater crocodile. In the Burarra language of the Warrawarra people, Saltwater Crocodile is known as Marrchila.
In the painting, her missing hand is the one she burned, carrying the fire.
Marrchila/Bäru is owned by many clans including the Gumatj, Ganalbiŋu and Warrawarra clans.
This artwork has been framed by Don Whyte Framing. It is ready hang.