Wanyubi Marika | Dhuwa Honeybee

Wanyubi Marika

Dhuwa Honeybee, 2017

Dhuwa Yarrpany

Clan

Rirratjiŋu

Songline

Wuyal | The Honey Ancestor

"Other clan groups were reluctant to bring their knowledge into the open; they moved back to their homelands and never expressed their Law to the public. But my family did. They were lawmakers and peacemakers, making good governance, peace, law and order. And they taught me the Law of the Djan’kawu and Wuyal and Wägilak.

My father told me, “Other Yolŋu will see that you have many stories and strong Law. They will recognize it and say, ‘Yes, it is the same, like our Dreaming, the same Law.’” This is because the Djan’kawu moved from one Country to another, connecting all of the Dhuwa clans by their spiritual ties to the two sisters. And that is the knowledge my father gave to me."

– WANYUBI MARIKA

More Info

During the Waŋarr (Ancestral times), the Honey ancestor Wuyal felled a honey-filled tree at Barrkirra, on the western side of Melville Bay, near Dholtji. The honey, whose ancestral name is Marrmiriny, spilled into the water at a place called Gilmirrtjpi. The current named Molmulpa carried the honey until the wax within it accreted and turned into the rock island Yilibawuy. Although this homeland is occupied by Golumala clan, it belongs to the Ḏäṯiwuy. It is sung by these two clans, as well as by the Rirratjiŋu clan.

This painting was created as part of the Kluge-Ruhe Maḏayin commission and is the first time that this design has been painted for non-Yolŋu viewers.


– Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka

Additional Information

Decade

2017

Medium

Natural pigments on eucalyptus bark

Dimensions (IN)

74 13/32 x 32 43/64

Dimensions (CM)

191 x 83

Credit

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. The 2017–19 Kluge-Ruhe Maḏayin Commission, Purchased with funds provided by Terry Snowball and Machel Monenerkit, and Margo Smith AM and Tom Cogill, 2022.

Narrative

Rirratjiŋu

The Rirratjiŋu clan belongs to the Dhuwa moiety. The major spiritual themes relate to Yalaŋbara,...

View All Artworks >

Songline

Wuyal | The Honey Ancestor

Wuyal, the ancestral Sugarbag Man, is an important ancestor of the Marrakulu clan of northeast...

View All Artworks >

Location

2010s

The 2010s saw Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka go from strength to strength. At the National Aboriginal and...

Learn About This Decade >

About The Artist(s)

Clan

Rirratjiŋu

Artist Dates

Born 1967

Wanyubi Marika

Wanyubi Marika is the son of Milirrpum Marika, the claimant in Australia’s first native title case. Wanyubi began painting as part of the Saltwater Project in 1997 and later served as chair of the Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre. An important community leader, he was part of the curatorial team for Maḏayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Australian Bark Painting from Yirrkala.

Collections Represented

Australian National Maritime Museum

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia

National Gallery of Victoria

Seattle Art Museum

Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

Sydney Opera House

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art