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87 AM 2077/04
Bill Harney Gandawag Moon Dreaming 2004
Acrylic & natural ochres on Galicia linen
575 x 1060mm

Gandawag Moon painting.

He (Moon) died at a place called Noon Spring at Top Flora (River). There's a big spring bubbling up. Water comes up in the night and breaking dawn, the water goes down. It's up and down all the time like the moon. Full moon comes up and the water comes up, little moon and the water stays low. It's a funny place, because that old Moon was breaking the law. He had two wives and the Moon told them to go out looking for food. But old Moon he took a liking to his mother- in- law and when his two wives came back he was (discovered) breaking the law and others made a complaint. They were going to sing him and to kill him, so old Moon took off and he went to the Grasshopper people. But a message stick was sent to the Grasshopper people to kill him. Everyone felt sorry for him, but what they did, they gave him the cheeky yam, the kuanmanmalinj to eat, 'cause it's hot that cheeky yam. He ate that and the caustic inside burnt him and cooked him and his belly swelled up and he died. Then the message was sent back to these other people over the Moon Dreaming, they said, "Old Moon finished now.'

He was called Jabalyi. And after that they could see something different. They looked and said, 'Oh I can see some shadow.' They look up and see the half moon come up. Old Jabalyi died but he's come back as a shadow. We now we call him Gandawag. Jabalyi is a skin, human skin (subsection/skin name) and when he came back as the half moon he's called Gandawag. Then the mother- in-law when she died, she came back as the full moon called Wutjbin. They worked it out because of the spring water. Old Jabalyi was buried right there by the spring water so when the half moon comes up the water starts rising. There's a connection with the mother-in-law, so when the full moon comes up, big water comes up. They work together the water and the moon.

It's the burial place from moon (central circle). It's not far from where we are at Innesvale. The springs are called Jerdan. Those three (top three circles) tell you the water is just about to come. This one here tells you water is rising now and this one running a little stream of water coming up in the half moon. This two here (right and left centre circles), tells them water rising, and these (bottom three circles) says its coming from the smaller one to become bigger, full up. They're all related together. And here are all the waves going around (wavy background). You can still see the wave marks in the ground and the side of the rock. You can hear water roaring in the night, the moon water coming!

Bill Harney 9th April 2015

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