In Raŋga ga Rapiny Miny’tji | Sacred Object and Freshwater Designs (1963), the central figure is incorporated or contained within the clan designs. The shape evokes two bathi with hints of other referents—the yoku and the sea monster associated with mortuary rituals, which we will encounter later on in Maŋgalili saltwater paintings. The dillybags that contain yoku corms are analogous to ancestral wombs containing spirit children. The paintings also reference Ŋuykal (the Kingfish ancestor), who appears in the other three paintings of Wayawupuy.
– Howard Morphy
Natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
32 1/8 x 19 3/4
81.6 x 50.2
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. Gift of John W. Kluge, 1997. 1996.0035.003.
About The Artist(s)
Nanjin, Nanung, Nanyan
Nänyin Maymuru was the elder brother of Narritjin Maymuru. Along with his brother, he painted the Maŋgalili section of the Yirrkala Church Panels and developed the distinctive Maŋgalili school of painting continued by their children Baluka Maymuru, Galuma Maymuru and Naminapu Maymuru-White.