Djunggaliwarr ga wayanaka (conch shell and oysters) by Cecilia Bambarrawuy

Djunggaliwarr ga wayanaka (conch shell and oysters)

This painting is of a conch shell and the “U” shapes are oysters. The rrark (cross hatching) is representing water.

This painting is part of The Milky Way songline (Badurru) which takes place near Hutchinson Strait at a place called Gurruwana. It is a story affiliated with the Liyagalawumirr clan of the Dhuwa moiety. The conch shell and oysters are found in the Gurruwna landscape.

During the time of Creation, the Glider Possum Man lived with his two wives. After an argument, the women attacked their husband with burning sticks. His limbs shrivelled and he became a Glider Possum. He relayed the story of this transformation to his brother-in-law, The Crow Man. Glider Possum gathered his tribesmen and speared the wives to death. Their spirits went into fish in a nearby stream, but the Crow Man had a fish trap. The Glider Possum and his tribesman caught the spirits and ate the fish. With sorrow, the Crow Man gathered the bones of his sisters and held the first Hollow Log ceremony to put the women’s souls to rest. He carried the log holding their bones up to the sky and as he flew, some of the bones fell out making the stars of the Milky Way.