PHILIP GUDTHAYKUDTHAY
Djarrka (Goannas)

Philip Gudthaykudthay, Djarrka (Goannas), 2019, acrylic on canvas, 94.50 x 68.50 x 2.00 cm, TCG22328
(photo: The Commercial) private collection, Sydney

Djarrka is a freshwater goanna that can be found in small inland creeks and feeds on small crabs and yabbies. People hunt this goanna for food and they can be very delicious to eat, like other meats you can find around and in the creek. Djarrka is a Dhuwa water goanna and it plays a big part in some ceremonies. In nearly all Liyagawumirr Dhuwa ceremony like Djungguwan, Ngulmarrk, and Liyagalawumirr Ngarra, Djarrka is represented. The ceremonies are very secret to both women and children and those not in this group and unconnected to Yolngu lifestyle and their beliefs. It is very taboo to speak about.

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