Organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection


The fire started there, in my wife Rerrkirrwaŋa’s mother’s Maḏarrpa Country, and traveled toward Birany’birany in Gumatj Country on the back of Bäru, the crocodile. That is the surface of the story, but to get the deep story, you must speak with Djambawa Marawili, because he holds authority for the Maḏarrpa clan… Bäru traveled from Maḏarrpa Country to Birany’birany bringing the fire with him. Top Gumatj is where everything starts from—that’s the start of burning flame in Gumatj Country. It started from here and then went up that way to a place called Yolŋu-munygunhamirri. And the fire followed behind, burning the place called Binmil, and then spread all over. And all these are the inland paintings.


Birany’birany is a small Gumatj homeland located near a creek that connects to Caledon Bay. It is associated with the songline of both Bäru, the saltwater crocodile, and Wirrili, the Yellow Ochre Ancestor.


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Bäru | The Saltwater Crocodile

Wirrili | The Yellow Ochre Ancestor