Gone Fishing

18 AM 423/02
Djawida Nadjongorle Billabong Scene 1999
Ochres on Arches Paper 1/2 sheet C-N-610-10-99
510 x 1525mm

The artist has painted various edible fish and reptiles found in billabongs, water courses and wetlands that occur throughout Arnhem Land in the "top End" of Australia. The kinga (saltwater or estuarine crocodile) is a highly respected and feared animal that has significance as a food source and a totem to many Aboriginal people in western Arnhem Land. Although the kinga has a fearsome reputation its main diet is fish. In this painting the kinga is eating a Namardakka or nail fish. Namarnkol or barramundi, the renowned game fish of the 'Top End' of Australia. They grow to extraordinary sizes and are excellent eating. The namarnkol can be found in saltwater as well as freshwater billabongs and rivers. The male namarnkol has its gut outlined in black. These fish have significance as food and as totems and are most easily caught after the end of the monsoon (March -April) until the humid build-up season (October).

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