- natural earth pigments on hollow tree trunk
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Bamurrungu is a sacred rock, which stands at the mouth of the Gurka’wuy River within Trial Bay, above Blue Mud Bay, north-east Arnhem Land. The river flows past this rock, clashing in turbulent unity with the incoming tidal waters from the deep ocean.
Bamurrungu is surrounded by wawurritjpal (sea mullet). When Yolngu perform ritual dances for Marrakulu clan events, participants move towards a held spear representing the steadfastness of the rock. It splits the dancers, who then surround Bamurrungu, moving like the sea to song and rhythm.
This trunk of the stringy bark tree represents the submerged rock Bamurrungu and symbolises the foundation landscape of Gurka’wuy, Trial Bay.
Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, 2017