ABRAHAM DAKGALAWUY - Hunting and Gathering
Acrylic on Arches Paper | 76cm x 105cm
For the Kunwinjku there was a special time of Creation known as the "Dreamtime". They believe they have ancestral spirit beings - "MIMIS" who can take the form of people or animals. In the beginning they roamed the featureless flat Earth creating everything that exists today; including plants and animals, landscape features, language, law and tradition.
Special places where the Mimis were or where they now reside are sacred sites to the Bininj (people). Custodianship of the Law and the Land has been passed down for thousands of years, usually from father to son, but sometimes another tribal relation - even a daughter may be chosen. Even when the country is not lived in (as is the case with "sickness country"), the custodian must ensure that the sites are not interfered with or punishment will come to all.
For the Bininj everything must be in harmony, and everything have a place. Their survival was ensured by the knowledge they could rely on each other and their country. They had harsh punishments for those who broke the Law, for to do so would put the whole clan in jeopardy.
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