An image of Cat and crow legend

Dawidi Djulwarak

(Australia 1921 – 1970)

Community
Milingimbi, Arnhem region
Language group
Liyagalawumirr, Arnhem region

Cat and crow legend

Location
Not on display
Further information

The crows took some hair which is part of the tassel of the spear thrower (shown vertically left of centre) and whirled it. This was their nest. It grew and grew until it reached the sky and turned into a stone. Today one half of it stands in Liayagalawumirr clan country and the other half is the Milky Way. The Cat was out fishing. He caught a great many fish and after he had eaten them he put the bones in a paper bark receptacle (shown upper right) and came back to camp. When he got there he saw the Crow up in the sky. You can see them in the Milky Way today. The paper bark basket is a garma (totem) for the Liagalawumirr people (source: William Lloyd Warner, 'A black civilization: a social study of an Australian tribe', Harper, 1958, pg. 535).

Besides cats, crows, fish, bones, basket and spear thrower, a drone pipe or bones post and three figures, two of them being speared, are shown.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005

Place of origin
Glyde River, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Year
collected 1960
Media
Bark painting
Medium
natural pigments on bark
Dimensions
105.4 x 47.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1960
Accession number
IA42.1960
Copyright
© Estate of Dawidi Djulwarak/Bula'bula Arts. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd