Djiḻawurr Sculpture


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‘Djiḻawurr’ meaning Scrub fowl in Yolŋu language. Yolŋu sacred songs tell of the first rising clouds on the horizons – the first sighƟngs for the year of the Macassan praus’ sails. The grief felt at the Ɵme of Macassan trepangers returning to Sulawesi with Bulunu (the S.E winds of the early Dry season) is correlated with the grief at the passing from life of a death in the clan. The return of the Macassans with Luŋgurrma (the Northerly Monsoon winds of the approaching Wet) is an analogue of the rebirth of the spirit following appropriate mortuary ritual. Some of the Macassan language has been adopted into the Yolŋu vocabulary and in some cases genealogies shared. It is probable that Yolŋu seamanship was learnt from the Macassan and it was only a generaƟon or so ago that Yolŋu travelled the coast in dugout canoes, some fiƩed with Macassan styled sail.

Earth pigments on wood.

23cm x 7cm.

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre is the Indigenous community controlled art centre of Northeast Arnhem Land located in Yirrkala, a small Aboriginal community, approximately 700km east of Darwin.

Meet the Artist

Djul’djul Gurruwiwi

Djul'djul is a very precise and knowledgeable Yolngu wood carver and painter.

Meet the Artist