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Arthur Koo'ekka Pambeegan Jr Fish on poles

Date: 1988
Display dimensions: 1795 x 1869 x 100 mm
Medium: Natural pigment, milkwood (galor), fibre
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: V00004846

User Terms

    This sculpture of bonefish represents the ongoing engagement with the sea by modern members of the Indigenous community at Cape York, Queensland. The sculpture is the basis of a ceremonial dance representing night time fishing. The fishes' stripes of black, white and red are similar to the paint worn by the dancers at the Wik-Mungkan Winchanam ceremony.
    SignificanceThis sculpture represents the Wik-Mungkan people from Cape York's western peninsula. It is the centrepiece for a dance that commemorates the hunting of bonefish at night by spear fishermen in canoes.
    HistoryArthur Kooekka Pambegan Jr is an Elder of the Wik-Mungkan people and a member of the Winchanam ceremony. He was born in 1936 and lives at Aurukun, in Cape York. He has made a number of sculptures alongside his father representing the indigenous people from Aurukun on Cape York's western peninsula.

    For the Wik-Mungkan people sculpture is closely related to dance and one of the most important ways of expressing culture. Ancestral events and stories, including the totem bonefish are common themes reflected in their dance and sculpture. Pambegan Jr's father taught him the traditional techniques and stories to make ceremonial dance sculptures during a time when missionary activity was prevalent in Cape York.
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