Milngiyawuy (Milky Way)

It was in the Wangarr (ancestral times) when the Guwak men, Munuminya and Yikawanga, sitting under the shade of the sacred Marawili tree, instructed the ancestral koel cuckoo Guwak to lead the Manggalili people to this new place they had established for them at Djarrakpi. Having seen the people settled in their new homeland they announced to the Manggalili their farewell, that they, the Guwak men were to travel out to sea, to a place in the sky and that they would become stars which would shine out of the night sky.

So a canoe and paddles were made and their journey began by paddling down the Milngiya River which flows into the Blue Mud Bay near Djarrakpi. In the bay, at a place of significance, strong winds developed and capsized the canoe – the men drowned.

The Milngiya River is the terrestrial version of the Milky Way.

Some tried to rescue them. A special log, Milkamirri or Bandumul, containing mangrove worms offered itself as assistance. Nguykal the ancestral kingfish and the rock cod they had caught for their journey offered assistance, as did Dhäla the sea creature. It was to no avail however as the men had destined themselves as offerings to the night sky where they and subsequent Manggalili souls are seen today in the Milky Way. These Manggalili souls attain their celestial position by means of possum fur string, Burrkun, that connects Djarrakpi at the site of the Marawili tree to night sky. Miliyawuy or Milngiya as the Milky Way is also looked upon as the nesting place for the ancestral crocodiles Yingalpiya.

70×50 cm | Acrylic on Canvas | Cat. no: 22-1451

This artwork has been sold.