Araw Warul (2016) shows the turtles swimming in the ring tides during Sageraw Thonar. During Sageraw Thonar the weather gets rough with the wind blowing south-east for nine months of the year. Tides run strong in this period, making it easy to catch the turtles when they float behind the reef. The circles in the print represent the ring tide, with the markings in each circle being significant. The arrow like markings represents the angle of the southeasterly winds and also signifies the suckerfish that were used in traditional turtle hunting. The suckerfish would be tied to a string and then attached to a turtle. My personal marking is also featured. It is used in all of my work and contains my totem – the crocodile.
Details: Matilda Malujewel Nona, Araw Warul, 2016, linocut print on paper, 119x200.5cm (image size), edition of 12
Please note: due to the size of this work, editions are printed on demand. Edition limited to 12 prints. Please allow time for printing, signing by the artist and dispatch to your destination.
Kala Lagaw Ya translation: Alick Tipoti
Araw Warul dan thiyayk warul tadimik uragal/urakal wowraw thonarnu. Senab thonarnu, gub gadaka mizin, koey gubalnga, kisayl matha gethiyab sus geth thonar ika. Bubul wamen asimin. Zegeth thuwanga aymin malu garkazika ika gasamka waruka kuyk kedha thana mazaw po mudhaka kalanu balthamik.
Setha kedha arkathadh mineral a mineral muynu koey mina yadaylnga. Itha wara gizul ngadhal mineral adhiya, kuyurudh ngadhal mayl thonar tidayzinga wowraw gubaka wowraw doegam ngu a matha kedha ngoedhe gapu kuykaw mineral. Gaapu thayar kulba danalgaw thonarnu waruka gasmka. Aamu gapunu kunumzinga, gaapu guyuth wayan maluka waruka a dhangal ika gasamka. Nguzu geth mineral wara palayzimayl. Ithab mineral nguzu mura zageth iyab yawiyayk kuyk kedha sena minar thiyayzinga nguzu awgadh ika – Koedal.
Sageraw Thonar is the period of the travelling turtle. Female turtles return to nest while hatchings will embark on their life’s journey into the ocean. This print depicts such a journey. The title translates to ‘From below the sea the south east wind blows above’. The large turtle carries the juvenile turtles across its body. They travel across the large turtles shell and flippers, signifying the journey they make across currents in the ocean. The sea is plentiful during Sageraw Thonar represented by the abundance of sea creatures across the turtle’s shell. Crayfish crawl along the right side of the shell. Diving sea birds are in formation in the top left flipper. Schools of baitfish swim in between two trevally on the left of the shell, which are waiting to feed on the smaller fish. A hammerhead shark is found in the bottom right flipper. Respect for these sea creatures and for the sea is paramount in our culture. Without our cultural knowledge of respect we would face great danger in our oceans. In the bottom left flipper is the Wongai fruit, which is in season during Sageraw Thonar. The rain comes and washes the detritus of the flower at this time allowing the fruit to develop. The intricate patterning contained in the shell represents weather patterns at this time of year with tidal changes and monsoons. Knowledge of the Southeasterly Season is important. Through this print, the story of the turtle, one of cultural respect, will continue to the next generation.