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Galwanuk clan, Liyagalawumirr language, Dhuwa moiety

Black and white photograph of a man posing next to an artwork. - click to view larger image
Paddy Dhäthaŋu

About 1915–1993

Dhäthaŋu became a ceremonial leader of the Liyagalawumirr clan, with particular responsibility for ceremonies concerning the Wägilak Sisters, when his predecessor, Dawidi, died. As a boy he was taken to Milingimbi once the mission was established there, and he lived through the bombing of Darwin during the Second World War.

Dhäthaŋu was a major contributor to The Aboriginal Memorial (1988) at the National Gallery of Australia, and often collaborated with Dorothy Djukulul (born 1942), one of the first women painters in central Arnhem Land. In 1987 he painted a mural for the Darwin Performing Arts Centre and in 1992 was awarded an emeritus fellowship by the Australia Council for his contribution to the arts in Australia.

Painting in the exhibition

A bark painting worked with ochres on bark. It depicts a large snake with the upper part of its body coiled around a small kangaroo on a black background. There is a smaller snake at  the foot of the painting with its head pointing towards a black circular shape. On the left of the painting there is a large stick-like object.
Wititj ga Gandawul’ ga Wurrdjarra (Wititj with Rock Wallaby and Sand Palm in Seed)

All these bark paintings are part of the National Museum of Australia’s collection. © the artist or the artist’s estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency 2013, unless otherwise specified. These images must not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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