5. Gomu', 2023
Gomu' are a form of hermit crab who are sung by the Djambarrpuyŋu. The edible species are known as Ŋukaliya or Variegated Hermit Crab Clibanarius taeniatus. But the Maypal, Mayili ga Wäŋa- Shellfish, meaning and place dictionary suggests that Gomu' are inedible and that they prefer the shell shapes known as Ḻaḻaywarra and barawatharr. Gomu' is known as 'Hermit Crab' or Coenobita perlatus. It is much more heavily built than Ŋukaliya and the shells it refers are round rather than pointed. The Djambarrpuyŋu songs of turtle hunters divulge that as the turtle is butchered according to strict protocols relating to cuts and priority division the Gomu' rise to the top of the sand attracted by the smell.
- Earth pigments on Stringybark
- Dimensions: 76.5cm x 71.5cm
- Cat No. 3042-23
Munhala Dhamarrandji depicts the Djambarrpuyŋu clan design of Batjimurruŋu.
This design carries the miny’tji of Batjimurruŋu a shellfish of the mangroves area which climbs the aerial roots of the mangroves as the tide comes in. It is sung by the Djambarrpuyngu clan with the Guyula / Dhamarrandji surnames and relates to the Buckingham Bay area of Gurula Dhulmuwandany. It is a design learnt by the artist via her mother’s first husband and is her classificatory sister clan.
This place and design, songs and the shellfish itself are related to the songlines of the Djaŋ’kawu sisters of the Dhuwa moiety.
Batjimurruŋu is Cassidula angulifera or the Angular Ear Shell. The synonyms are miniminipi and mitjalaŋaniŋ.
Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land. Located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community on the northeastern tip of the Top End of the Northern Territory, approximately 700km east of Darwin. The primarily Yolŋu (Aboriginal) staff of around twenty services Yirrkala and the approximately twenty-five homeland centres in the radius of 200km.
In the 1960’s, Narritjin Maymuru set up his own beachfront gallery from which he sold art that now graces many major museums and private collections. He is counted among the art centre’s main inspirations and founders, and his picture hangs in the museum. His vision of Yolŋu-owned business to sell Yolŋu art that started with a shelter on a beach has now grown into a thriving business that exhibits and sells globally.
Today Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre consists of two divisions; the Yirrkala Art Centre which represents Yolŋu artists exhibiting and selling contemporary art and The Mulka Project which acts as a digital production studio and archiving centre incorporating the museum.
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