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Yithuwa Madarrpa people

Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia born 1953

Djet the Sea Eagle [Carving of Djet the Sea Eagle (#17)] 1984
Collection Title: Djet the Sea Eagle
Place made: Baniyala, North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, natural earth pigments on wood

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Dimensions: 151.0 h x 14.0 w x 22.0 d cm 118.0 h x 20.0 w x 18.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased from Gallery admission charges 1984
Accession No: NGA 84.1961.1-2
Image rights: © the artist courtesy Buku-Larrnggay Mulka

These sculptures by artist Djambawa Marawili represent humans transformed into magnificent birds. When a greedy child lost his temper and stamped his feet, he slowly began to fly and changed into a sea eagle. This tale was told to children to caution them against being greedy. Do you remember the last time you were angry? Can you imagine what animal you might have become?

Activity: Using watercolours paint an image of a creature that you would like to transform into.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra