Burarr (Water Goanna) and Namarnkol (Barramundi) by William Manakgu DjawirdaNew

Burarr (Water Goanna) and Namarnkol (Barramundi)

Various animals and plants have cultural significance to the Kunwinjku people who live in Western Arnhem Land in the ‘Top End’ of Australia. The burarr or water goanna inhabits the wetland areas of Western Arnhem Land that include billabongs, rivers and floodplains. The burarr differs from land goannas by its streamline body, and tail being shaped more like a paddle. They are frequently caught and eaten for their tasty white flesh, and their eggs are also sought after as an excellent food source- these are found in their dens which can be a hollow log or a dug out burrow.

The burarr has been depicted in the classic Kunwinjku ‘x-ray’ style with internal organs showing. The cross-hatching technique used for the in-fill is called rarrk.

Burarr nakka yiman kalawan nungan kadjalyo kore kukku kaboyo.Burarr karrinan kakukdayo kore kunwarde kukorlh kore manwodj kahwodjyo kundulk.Bu kannan wanjh kadjuhme kore kuronj kayo munguyh kaluk yerre karrolhme.Burarr namak mayh bu ngarringun yiman kalawan karohrok.Kunkanj dja kunbalem bu ngarringun ngadberre mayh.

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