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Wititji and Yalurr

Date: c 1990
Mount / Matt size: 895 × 658 mm
Image: 405 x 295 mm
Medium: Silkscreen print on heavy weight paper, graphite pencil, printing inks
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © David Malangi Daymirringu
Object Name: Print
Object No: 00017988
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    A screen print titled 'Wititji and Yalurr' (Catfish and Snake) by David Malangi / Daymirringu. David Malangi was an artist in the traditional style of Central Arnhem Land. His work uses extensive rark, hatching, method of design. The snake and the catfish being key elements in both his work and environment. Malangi became widely known for the appearence of his work on the Australian $1 note, issued in 1966.

    LOCAL GROUP - Manharrngu
    LANGUAGE - Djinang, Manharrngu, Liyagalawumirr
    SOCIAL AFFILIATIONS - Dhuwa moiety, Gammerang sub-section
    Significance"David Malangi (1927–1999) of the Manharrngu people was a loved senior elder and revered bark painter of central Arnhem Land. He is an important artist to Balanda [white people] because as well as following the old ways of painting the Ancestral stories, he created highly distinctive and visually powerful compositions to represent them. He is best known for his design reproduced on the reverse side of the Australian one dollar note in 1966 when Australia converted to decimal currency."
    - No Ordinary Place: the art Of David Malangi
    HistoryDavid Malangi's country is Dhamala, Mgurrunyuwa and Dhabila. He was born at Mulanga (in Ngurrunyuwa) where Gurrumurringu (ancestral being) travelled. As a child he lived at the Milingimbi mission where he went to school. Had Dapi (Djungguan) and went on to Gunapipi, both at Yathalamara (before WWII). Lived in bush on Milingimbi during the war, when he saw the bombing of Darwin. After the war Malangi worked on a mission putting up fences. During this time he married the first of his four wives, Elsie Ganbada. Malangi then worked looking after cattle and riding horses at Milingimbi with Charlie Murrupala (deceased-Maragu) and in about 1960 went to live Yathalamara.

    From this period onwards, Malangi painted extensively and his early work became part of several collections. One piece, 'Mortuary Feast' was seen by the then Secretary of the Reserve Bank of Australia, A.C McPherson, who was in the process of creating a new decimal Australian currency. He chose Malangi's painting of Gunmirringu's mortuary feast to feature on the new 1 dollar note. The image was reinterpreted by Gordon Andrews but no mention of the painter of the work was made. It was not until 1966 that David Malangi became aware that his art had been used on the notes. There was an appeal made by the super intendant of the Milingimbu Mission, Reverend Marcel Spengler, to recompense Malangi and ensure he received proper recognition for his work. This was later agreed to by the Reserve Bank and the amount of $1000, a specially struck medallion and a fishing tackle box was presented to Malangi. This was the first recognition of copyright for Indigenous artist’s designs in Australia.

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