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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Nancy Gaymala Yunupingu

Baru (Crocodile) by Nancy Gaymala Yunupingu (also known as Gaymala 1 Yunupingu)

Date: 2005
D fini frame.
Medium: Paper and ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Nancy Gaymala Yunupingu
Object Name: Screenprint
Object No: 00047710
Related Place:Arnhem Land,

User Terms

    A screen print by Nancy Gaymala Yunupingu, also known as Gaymala 1 Yunupingu, depicting two saltwater crocodiles and their three eggs, edition 2 of 30.
    Nancy Gaymala Yunupingu was an Aboriginal leader and land rights activist. She was the daugter of Mungurrawuy , a senior Gumatji cultural leader and a signatory to the Aboriginal Bark Petition presented to the Australian Government in 1963.

    SignificanceThis screenprint is by a highly respected Indigenous artist Nancy Gaymala Yuningu depicts a story that specifically relates to her homeland. The crocodile Baru is important in Creation stories of the Yolngu.
    HistoryYolngu art is based on inherited designs passed on by the ancestral beings who created the land. Paintings and sculptures tell of the epic events of the ancestral past. The setting in this work by Gaymala 1 Yunupingu is Biranybirany on the eastern coast of Arnhem Land, on Caledon Bay.

    Here, freshwater meets salt – a powerful symbol in Yolngu cosmology, often associated with fertility. The work depicts Baru, the larger of the two crocodiles, and a female. The latter builds a nest in the estuarine swamps, and buries her eggs as the wet season floodwaters reach their height. She guards them until the young are hatched. The two crocodiles featured here by Gaymala are the caretakers of a creek at Biranybirany. This area is sacred to the Gumatj clan. The crocodiles protect the creek and their eggs; the Gumatj protect the crocodiles.

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