Bark painting 'Buluwana at Dilebang / Buluwana at Dilebang' by Deborah Wurrkidj

Bark painting 'Buluwana at Dilebang / Buluwana at Dilebang' by Deborah Wurrkidj

Maningrida Arts & Culture

Regular price €2,290.00 Sale

Natural ochres on eucalyptus tetradonta wood.
127 x 42cm
Provenance: Maningrida Arts & Culture (Official Aboriginal Arts Centre), Maningrida, NT, Australia.
The work is accompanied by the certificate of authenticity from the art center.

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Description :

The Kuninjku people of Arnhem Land recall a time when their ancestors experienced a terrible drought. The inhabitants of the area around the rocky outcrop near Mann River dug wells to find water until these too dried up. They then succeeded in finding water by cutting into the trunks of tea trees called djidjdjerok which store brackish water. When the water of these trees was in turn exhausted, the inhabitants had only wild honey as a means of subsistence. They ended up dying of thirst. It is said that the bones of these men and women can be found in caves in the cliffs of Western Arnhem Land in the Mann River district.

In the old days of creation there was a great drought. At that time, Buluwana and his family had set up camp at Ngandarrayo, on the land of the Kurulk clan. They were weakened by thirst and death was near. In its most gigantic and malevolent form, the Death Adder challenged their group. Buluwana and the rest of her family tried to run away, but she was crushed and turned to stone. Today, a formation of several boulders jutting out of the ground forms the current visible form of Buluwana. Only his head protrudes, represented by a standing stone in the shape of a prism; the rest of his body remains underground. Other human remains lying on rock ledges are said to be those of other early ancestors.

This painting refers to the very first times, before men died. It depicts Buluwana on a cross-hatched background with his kun-madj (collection bag) and burrowing stick. It is painted in a place called Dilebang. Dilebang is considered one of the most dangerous and sacred sites in the land of the Kun-Kurulk clan. Journeys in this region should only be undertaken with caution, for the guardians of this site know its ancestral strength. The billabong of Dilebang is not far from the steep country, rich in numerous examples of parietal art and which abounds in sacred places. The use of the rarrk (cross-hatching) pattern on any surface of the bark painting creates a shimmering effect, imbuing the image with a spiritual force.

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' Buluwana at Dilebang / Buluwana at Dilebang ' by Deborah Wurrkidj

Stringybark (Eucalyptus Tetradonta) with natural ocher pigments.
127 x 42cm
Provenance: Maningrida Arts & Culture (official Aboriginal art centre), Maningrida, NT, Australia.
The artwork comes with the authenticity certificate from the art centre.

Contact us to get a delivery quote.

Description:

The Kuninjku people of Arnhem Land tell of a time when their ancestors suffered a terrible drought. People living in the rocky outlier region near the middle Mann River dug wells to get water until these too dried up. Then they obtained water by cutting the trunks of Melaleuca trees called djidjdjerok which store brackish water inside. When these trees were exhausted, people were surviving only on wild honey. Eventually people died of thirst. The bones of these people are said to be those found in the caves of the escarpment country of Western Arnhem Land in the Mann River district.

In the ancestral time of creation there was a great drought. During this time Buluwana and her family camped at Ngandarrayo on Kurulk clan land. They were weak from thirst and close to death. The malevolent gigantic form of the Death Adder snake confronts the group. Buluwana attempted to run away with the rest of her family but was crushed and turned to stone. Today an arrangement of rocks standing in the ground remains as Buluwana's present day form. Only her head protrudes as a prismic standing stone, the rest of her body is under the ground. Other human remains lying on rock ledges are said to be the remains of other early ancestors.

This painting is a reference to the very early time, before the people died. It depicts Buluwana superimposed on the background of crosshatching with her kun-madj (dilly bag) and digging stick. She is depicted at a site called Dilebang. Dilebang is regarded as one of the most dangerous and sacred of sites in the Kun-Kurulk clan estate. Travel in the area is undertaken with caution as site custodians are aware of the ancestral power of the area. The billabong at Dilebang is near escarpment country rich in rock art and with a high concentration of sacred sites. The use of rarrk (crosshatching) all over the surface of the bark painting creates a shimmering effect, which imbues the image with a spiritual power.

Click here to know more about the artist