DOLLY LOOGATHA, 'Turtle Story', 2021, Acrylic on Belgian Linen, 197 x 197 cm
"In our Kayardild language we call the sea turtle Bangaa, dugong Bijarrb and sword shark Thaburruru. Bangaa is my dreaming, Bijarrb is our clan totem for Rukuthi people and my Father's name was Thaburruru - he was a great leader and family man.The Bangaa is important in our culture as food and it has sacred places on my Bentinck Island - you have to be careful when you visit, always take a owner of Country when you visit there. At Kombali River there's a turtle that appeared after the McKenzie Massacre.The Elders say McKenzie's daughter had fallen and drowned in the river and her spirit became a turtle and today if you go to Kombali you may see the turtle. It's a very sacred place for all our people not only because of the Turtle Spirit but what had happened during McKenzie's time on Bentinck - a lot of our people were killed on that very Country."
Courtesy of Mornington Island Art Centre
Catalogue number: 151-21