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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Gawarrk (Woman turned into rock)

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Gawarrk (Woman turned into rock)


Djalinda Yunupingu Dulamari

Australian Aboriginal, born 1954

Artist Djalinda Yunupingu Dulamari: "Nobody knows where the miyalk (woman) named Gawarrk came from. She wasn't Macassan, European or Yolngu (Aboriginal). She was from an unknown people. She swam from Dhambaliya (Bremer Island) where my family lives now, towards Gutjangan, our homeland, to Banupanuwuy and then to Bolulawuy, where the barge landing is now. Here she danced with two swords which broke when she hit them together. The swords fell into the water and the miyalk turned into the rock called Gawarrk. The dance that Gawarrk did on the beach with the swords is done in Yirritja Ceremonies today. Some of the places at Dhambaliya are Yirritja, but mostly Dhuwa land and sea. The anchor indicates that Dhambaliya has abundant freshwater."
Linocut in two colors, printed from two blocks
Image: 15 3/4 x 21 1/4in. (40 x 54cm)
Sheet: 22 1/16 x 29 15/16in. (56 x 76cm)
Gift of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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