Mabel Julic1933 - Garnkiny Ngarrangkarni 2009
- ochre and charcoal on canvas
This is Yariny country in Darrajayin (Springvale Station) which lies south of Warmun. This is Juli’s traditional country. In the Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) Garnkiny, the moon was a man. One day Garnkiny came back from hunting kangaroo and saw a girl sitting with her mother. She was very beautiful with long black hair and he fell in love with her instantly. This girl was Daawul, the black-headed snake. However, she was his classificatory mother-in-law and so it was taboo for him to marry her.
The old people asked him, ‘who do you want for your wife?’ he told them ‘dawyan dawyan’ (‘that one, that one’) pointing to Daawul, but they said, ‘No, she’s your mother-in-law, you must marry one of these promised girls, these nyawana Daawul’s daughters.’ Again they asked him whom he wanted to marry and he said once more ‘dawyan dawyan’. The people then told him, ‘you must go away!’ He strode off angrily and walked some distance before he sat down and turned into a hill. He cursed the people, telling them that they were going to die, but that he would always live. As the moon, he comes back to life every month. The wardal (stars) are Daawul’s daughters of nyawana skin.
Text: Warmun Art Centre, 2009