Collection Online
earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.)
114.2 × 50.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Kunbarllanjnja (Oenpelli), Northern Territory
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Dr Milton Roxanas, Governor, 1996
© The Estate of George Merwulunlu Djahgurrnga
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Lumaluma, the powerful ancestral being and creator of the Mardayin ceremony is represented in this painting. The ancestral giant travelled through Kunwinjku country carrying sacred objects. As he travelled, he stole women and devoured them, for which he was lured into an ambush and speared by the Kunwinjku. The ancestral being pleaded to be spared until he had disclosed full knowledge of the Mardayin ceremony, body designs, dances and sacred songs. He cut his body with geometric designs using sharp flints, before his death. Sacred objects used in the Mardayin ceremony were released from Lumaluma's body when he died, along with the human ancestors of today's clan groups.