Collection Online
earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.)
97.8 × 49.2 cm
Place/s of Execution
Baniyala, Northern Territory
inscribed (vertically) in fibre-tipped pen on reverse u.l.: 20 (in a circle)
inscribed (vertically) in fibre-tipped pen on reverse u.r.: WATJINBURY MARAWILI / NOV '83 / daa. / S.748 / S.748 / TAEEED.
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Dr Milton Roxanas, Governor, 1996
© Watjinbuy Marawili, courtesy of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
The artists represents Baru, the Ancestral crocodile man who created fire for the first time in Madarrpa country. As the fire started, Baru threw a log into the flames and the fire spread rapidly through the dry bush. In an effort to subdue the blaze Baru picked up the burning log and flung it out to sea, but Baru himself became so badly burnt that he slid into the sea. He found the salt water so soothing to his burns that he transformed himself into a crocodile and stayed there forever. The scars on his back, symbolic of fire are still visible as shown here.