Manggalili miny'tji

Naminapu Maymuru White2000

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT)

The base of the painting is the horizon from Djarrakpi looking over Blue Mud Bay where the mother clouds form and the turtle venture. These saltwaters are the estate of Milngiawuy where the ancestral hunters drowned from a capsized canoe, and their souls, through Manggalili ritual, ascended to the Milky Way (Milngiyawuy). This sacred area is separated from the top panel of the painting by the beaches of Djarrakpi. The cloud, wangupini, has rained over the sea and beach, and the turtle has come up and laid its eggs. Gunyun the sand crab also digs in the sand. The top panel relating to Djarrakpi has been depicted using the Manggalili miny'tji (sacred clan design) of flowing sand, flowing blood, spider webs, possum fur, and possum and maggot tracks, along with the imagery of snails, cicada, and the founders of Djarrakpi: the Guwak (koel cuckoo), the Marrngu (possum) on the sacred Marawili tree, the Nyapalingu (the ancestral creator woman), her baskets, and hunters with spears. The two elliptical shapes either side of the Guwak's roost are the sacred digging sticks that represent alternatively the deep-seated and varying knowledge of men and women – Yothu-Yindi.—Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre © Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory


  • Title: Manggalili miny'tji
  • Creator: Naminapu Maymuru White
  • Creator Lifespan: 1952
  • Creator Nationality: Australian
  • Creator Gender: Female
  • Date: 2000
  • Type: Bark Painting
  • Rights: Purchased 2000, Telstra Collection, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory © licensed by Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre
  • Medium: natural pigments on bark
  • Geographical Region of Artist: Yirrkala, North-east Arnhem Land
  • Exhibition: 17th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award 2000
  • Ethnic Language Group: Manggalili
  • Dimensions: 192 x 117 cm
  • Collection: Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art
  • Artist Ethnicity: Aboriginal

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