An image of Yirrkala story

Mawalan Marika

(Australia circa 1908 – 26 Nov 1967)

Yirrkala, Arnhem region
Language group
Rirratjingu, Arnhem region

Yirrkala story

Not on display
Further information

On the other side of Melville Bay a man, Murruma, was killed by some men in a fight. Three of his brothers have buried him in the grave and now they are dancing with the women for him. When the finished dancing they decide to go and finish a log and they put his bones inside it and now six men have carried the log to another place and the women are crying for him and the men dance while the music is played – the clay sticks and the didgeridoo. After they have finished dancing around the log they find his sacred dilly bag and all of the people dance and sing around this. The bag is made from string from a tree. The birds have pulled the end of the string and it is frayed.

[Art Centre documentation attached to the verso of the bark]

Place of origin
Yirrkala, North-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Bark painting
natural pigments on bark
167.0 x 67.5 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of Mollie Gowing 1980
Accession number
© Mawalan Marika. Licensed by Copyright Agency