1991/0523 Ancestral being

Ancestral being

Artist

John DODO NANGKIRINY
Aboriginal/Indigenous
Birth:
c 1910
 in
Old Bohemia Station, Kimberley region, Western Australia
Death:
2003
 in
Australia

Artwork

Title
Ancestral being
Date
c 1985
Medium/Material
ochre on sandstone
Dimensions
29.5 x 48.0 cm (circumference at base) (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Purchased 1991
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
1991/0523
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

John Dodo Nangkiriny, also known as Big John Dodo, was a ceremonial leader and diplomat for the Karajarri people whose Country extends along the coastline north and south of Bidyadanga, an Aboriginal community south of Broome. His granddaughter Anna Dwyer remembers him as a peacemaker, comparing him to Nelson Mandela in the way that he negotiated the struggle for the Karajarri Native Title determination that was awarded in 2002. His grandson Mervyn Mulardy Jnr remembers him as a pirrka, that is literally translated as a 'root' of Karajarri law, one deep in the knowledge and customs of Country. His powerful personality is here expressed in his carving. John Dodo Nangkiriny's widow, Auntie Rosie Munroe, remembers him carving them 'for fun', while their craftsmanship is likely to come from Dodo's experience carving both ceremonial items and practical items like whip handles (Darren Jorgensen 2018).Ancestral being is made of stone from Mount Phire, where a maban or magic man fled from a Pulany Rainbow Serpent after his son ate forbidden goanna eggs. The name of the maban man was not recorded at the time the head was collected. But it is said that he lives/lived near Eighty Mile Beach, Broome at the time of Pukarrikarra (Dreaming).

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Vernon id: 12281