An image of Buluwana

John Mawurndjul

(Australia 1952 – )

Community
Maningrida, Arnhem region, Milmilngkan, Arnhem region
Language group
Kuninjku, Arnhem region

Buluwana

Location
Not on display
Further information

Buluwana was a woman of Wumuddjan subsection, and one of the first people to inhabit the Kurulk clan region at Ngandarrayo. The Ngandarrayo site is on a large escarpment outlier. The camping places along this outlier are rich in rock art. During the time of great drought, Buluwana and her family were camped at Ngandarrayo. They were weak from thirst, and close to death, when the group was confronted by the malevolent gigantic form of the Death Adder snake. Buluwana tried to run away with the rest of her family, but was crushed and turned to stone. An arrangement of rocks still remains in the ground as Buluwana's present-day form. Only her head protrudes as a prismic standing stone - the rest ofher body is under the ground. Other human remains lying on rock ledges are said to be those of more early ancestors. The Ngandarrayo site is a place of great significance to people of the Kurulk and Kulmarru clans, and is classed as a highly sacred and dangerous place.

from Hetti Perkins et al., 'Crossing country: the alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004

Year
2002
Media
Bark painting
Medium
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
Dimensions
190.0 x 84.0 cm (irreg.)
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased 2003
Accession number
64.2003
Copyright
© John Mawurndjul. Licensed by Viscopy, Australia