Ngalkunburriyaymi - Mermaids -SOLD

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The upper Liverpool River is a central feature of the Mok clan’s traditional estate of mankung djang (bush honey Dreaming). From a young age children are warned of the dangers of being at the water’s edge. “Mermaids” – ngalkunburriyaymi (also commonly called yowk yowk) – inhabiting the Mankung estate waters are unpredictable spirit beings; they can seduce you then pull you down into the water’s depths to drown. They start out in similar form to dragon fly nymphs, develop fish tails and eventually can change their tails for legs. They are closely associated with mankung. The mankung flows through subterranean chambers below the river’s bed and the ngalkunburriyaymi (and the Rainbow Serpent – ngalyod) travel through these chambers to emerge into the river billabongs. The yellow spatter in the painting represents the bush honey mankung. The story depicted here is of three young men out hunting one hot day. They come near the river and notice three beautiful young women bathing. As they get closer the “women” look up and see the men and call them to come in and cool off. However, these are really yowk yowk who latch onto the men, pull them down into the depths where they drown.