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Aboriginal Turtle painting

Early oenpelli bark painting depicting a Turtle

Object type: Bark painting

Locality: Western Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia

Artist: Attributed to Yirawala

Circa: 1950

Length: 55 cm


This is an old rock art like depiction of a long neck turtle. The bark is old and pigment loss has now been stabilized. I believe this bark is by Yirawala for two reasons. Firstly Y’wala and Yirawala are phonetically almost identical and no other artist with names starting with a Y sound exists for this period. Secondly, the long neck turtle was an animal of totemic importance to  Yirawala and he had the right to paint it. Other similar shaped Yirawala turtle exist but they were painted later after he had changed his style due to Yirrkala influences

Price: SOLD

Article on Animals in Aboriginal art

Long neck Turtle by Yirawala

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