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William Manakgu
William Manakgu

Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Land, Australia

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Artwork Description

Kedjebe (file snakes, Acrochordus arafurae) are found in freshwater billabongs, rivers and creeks where there are water lilies and mud. They have very loose, rough skin. Here in Gunbalanya, when the water in the billabong starts to drop in the dry season, families would wade out into the water and catch them for food. Since they are immobilised out of water and are not venomous, people can just pick them up and throw them on the bank. The best way to catch the kedjebe is by standing in the water of a billabong or river and feeling around the mud with your feet, and once you’ve found one reach down and pick it up. The traditional way to kill them is to take the head in your mouth, bite and yank down hard breaking their necks. Nowadays there are too many crocodiles in the Gunbalanya billabong, but there are plenty of smaller water bodies where people still catch file snakes.

Medium

Acrylic on Arches paper

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Unframed (requires framing)

This artwork is currently unframed and requires framing.

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#snake, #billabong, #West Arnhem
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