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Don Namundja
Don Namundja

Gunbalanya, Western Arnhem Land, NT, Australia

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Artwork Description

Don has painted ngalmangiyi (long necked turtle) with djerrh (dillybags). We find ngalmangiyi in open areas like flood plains. Women will go out looking for "mim", the small holes the turtles breathe through as they lie buried under the mud. In the old days, women would take a digging stick called "kunbarlkbu", which they sharpened so it wouldpenetrate the mud. Nowadays women fashion turtling sticks from old pieces of metal, which they sharpen and make wooden handles for. These are called "kubba" (from the English "crowbar"). If the stickmakes a knocking sound when it goes into the mud, people know thereis a turtle there. People take the turtles and cook them on the fire or in ground ovens, opening them up to eat them. The best times for huntingturtle are the six or so months after Kudjewk (the monsoon season) that occurs in the beginning of the year.

Djerrh is the Kunwinjku term for a traditional fibre bag. These have been made in Arnhem Land since long before there were collectors for them, and they are featured in rock art throughout the region. Loosely twined baskets could be used to soak the toxins from cycad nuts or cheeky yams, while tightly twined ones were used to carry things suchas bush honey. String bags carried possessions and food. Ngalbu Ngalmangiyi ngalka karrinan karrimang kore kubolkwarlahken kunred kore kabbal kayo Morlehmorlenj daluk nawu ngad bininj birrireykabbal mim birriyawani. Birrikani kunbarlkbu kundulk birrimangi birrimirrhmarnbuni bu korroko dja bolkkime kubba wirlmurr nawu

This painting needs to be framed. It’s also being sent direct from the artist at a remote art centre, Injalak Arts, in west Arnhem Land, in the NT desert. Please note there is only one mail plane a week that takes the artwork to Gunbalanya. The tracking information is then received a week later when the mail plane returns so often the paintings are delivered before we receive the tracking information. Please expect a slightly longer wait for this very special artwork to arrive.


Acrylic on Arches Paper

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Unframed (requires framing)

This artwork is currently unframed and requires framing.

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#turtle, #Indigenous, #Dreaming, #Dreamtime, #desert, #outback
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