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Yirawala Serpent and Lizard bark

Aboriginal bark painting by Yirawala Serpent and Lizard.


Object type: Bark Painting 

Locality: Oenpelli Arnhem Land

Artist: Yirawala

Tribe: Gunwingu

Moiety: Dua

Circa: 1970

Dimensions: 61cm X 22cm (size of bark)


This early bark painting by Yirawala depicts the Ubar ceremony.

Two of the dreamings (creation) creatures in this ceremony are the great sky snake and the frill-necked lizard.

In the dance two men are painted as Lizards and first are hidden under a pile of leaves; the men chase them out and they run out and climb trees.

The snake is synonymous with the earth mother the creation ancestress who sanctions the Ubar ceremony, Kunapipi, Narndiella, Wawiluk, and Djungan.

When the initiates are brought out o see sections of the big ceremony the uncles say “do not look up, not for you, for you only little boy yet. There is a snake in the sky amongst the clouds.”

During this ceremony a log drum Barn-barn is beaten, this is the voice of the old earth mother and the snake.

Yirawala is a very well known and respected artist he is represented in major galleries including

The Pitt River Museum in England

National Museum of Australia



Price: SOLD

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