Wubbunj Upholstery Cushion
ABOUT THE ARTWORK: Wubbunj, 2016 © Raylene Bonson / Licensed by Copyright Agency These images are not to be reproduced without the approval of the licensor. “Wubbunj is our traditional canoe. This design is the old history story of how people came to live in this place we call Maningrida. Two old people were staying on the other side of the saltwater, in the Narlarrambarr area. The old people slept in a paperbark shelter and hunted on the water using their canoe. One day these old people saw a new boat in their waters, which belonged to the Makassans (Indonesians). Those two old men saw the big Makassan boat coming in, and decided to paddle their canoe from Narlarrambarr to the other side (modern-day Maningrida). We were scared of the Makassans, they gave us tobacco and tea, but they took many of our women. When those two old people tasted that water at Maningrida from the Djomi spring, it was sweet freshwater and they decided to stay here.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Raylene is a talented textile artist, specialising in linocut technique. She has been working with Bábbarra Designs since 2012. Raylene was mentored by her late mother, Nancy Gununwanga, a senior textile artist at Bábbarra Designs and a founding member of Bábbarra Women’s Centre. Raylene is well known for her designs depicting ancestral stories and ceremonial objects, in particular lorrkkon (hollow log for burial ceremony), kunmadj (dillybag) and mandjabu (conical fishtrap). Her ancestor spirits are Yawkyawk (female water spirit), and Djaddi (green monkey frog).