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© Paddy Wainburranga Fordham/Licenced by Viscopy, 2017

The Makassans

Date: 1991
Overall: 2145 x 935 mm, 9.5 kg
Display Dimensions: 2175 x 810 x 10 mm, 9500 kg
Medium: Ochres, bark
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Paddy Wainburranga Fordham
Object Name: Bark painting
Object No: 00015152

User Terms

    The work is divided into 12 individual sections which are referred to as ‘Chapters’ by the artist. A series of 12 drilled holes appear at top, 6 at centre and 12 at bottom of the work, with some chord wound through each hole and attached to wooden sticks to provide support for the object. The 12 sections represented in the painting have been listed as:

    Section 1 - the Saratoga saltwater fish is also the wind tester
    Section 2 - the Rembarrnga and their traditional food
    Section 3 - Rembarrnga men are preparing the trepang (sea cucumber) to eat
    Section 4 - a Makassan boat (perahu) is anchored offshore full of trepang, the Makassan fishermen have left their boat to meet with the Rembarrnga
    Section 5 - the Makassans carry gifts, one man has remained on the small dinghy to make sure that it does not float away
    Section 6 - the Makassans greet the elder male Rembarrnga
    Section 7 - a Rembarrnga woman goes with the Makassans in exchange for flour and tobacco
    Section 8 - the gifts of the Makassans are displayed: trepang, havlock chewing tabacco and smoking tobacco
    Section 9 - after spending a night with the Makassans, the Rembarrnga woman returns with gifts: flour and tobacco
    Sections 10-11 - the Makassan and Rembarrnga collect and prepare the trepang with the lobster symbolising the abundance of food in the area
    Section 12 - the Rembarrnga farewell the Makassans telling them to come back the next season

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The Makassans

    Secondary title: The Muldi

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