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Dhämala

The Dhuwa moiety lands of Dhämala are located on the west bank of the Glyde River and Dhäbila further west along the coast. This natural habitat of waterways, mangroves and plains is home to a diverse range of birds, animals and plant life, which all feature strongly in Malangi’s art.

These landscapes are associated with the Ancestral Djan’kawu Sisters, who link Dhuwa moiety clans across eastern and central Arnhem Land. Travelling west with the sun, the Sisters plunged their digging sticks into the ground, creating and naming waterholes, places, people, language and creatures, and by their actions made them sacred. The presence of the Djan'kawu is expressed in Malangi’s paintings with established clan designs of waterholes and graphic depictions of creatures associated with these ancestors.

A key clan design is for Mirrmirrngur Milminydjarrk, a tiny but important waterhole created by the Djan'kawu. It is depicted as a central roundel from which bands radiate vertically, horizontally and diagonally to the edges and corners of the picture, where smaller roundels or squares are placed. Milminydjarrk is one aspect of works which map Malangi’s Glyde River country, signalling the Ancestral presence flanking the river in Manharrngu country.

The Djan'kawu are also represented by the species they created and hunted: goannas, shellfish and fish.

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