Shovel-nose sharks, dingoes, the morning star and rainbows feature in 'paint-up'; the age-old practice of decorating the bodies of dancers for the corroboree. Amanda Ahern became fascinated with the distinctive body-art designs while working on Mornington Island. With a background in anthropology and visual arts, she approached the local Elders to involve the community in documenting for posterity the dancers' body-paint designs and their meaning. The result is this first-ever publication to describe in drawings, photographs and stories the unique geography of the Top End and the rich traditions and legends of the Muyinda ancestors. The practice of 'paint-up' is an expression of culture rather than art. Each body-paint design is of profound cultural significance, identifying the wearer with country, sacred sites and ancestral groups. This book is a proud document and a timely gift from the Mornington Island Elders, to be shared by everyone. (Backcover)
To Nelson Gavenor and Andrew Marmies, Muyinda directors and dear friends who tragically disappeared in a plane crash on 24 November 1999 and so will not see this book to completion. Their stories and heritage live on in these pages.
A story of how the first people came to Mornington Island.
A story of Kakawuny, the boney-winged seagull of Forsyth Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
This is a variation of the dingo dreaming story.
The story of why the Shark people always the first to lead the young men into ceremony.
The story that was brought from the Northern Territory to Mornington Island. It is the story of how the shark brought the cycad plams on this shoulders to Gulf of Carpentaria area.
This story relates to the Gunbar country on the south-east side of Mornington Island. It is the story of lightning man, redbill woman, yellow trevally man and shovel-nose shark.
This totem story is a 'kutjika' (sacred song) and tells of the journey of the tiger shark.
This story is about Balibal, the black diamond spotted stingray.
This is the story of the Barramundi clan.
This story relates to the wallaby clan from Sydney Island, Gulf of Carpentaria.
This story relates to several small islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria.