Rolk Djang (Maggot Dreaming)


The Maggot djang (dreaming) at Yirolk is a waterhole that features a rock emerging from the water and surrounded by waterlilies. It is said that all the spirits of deceased landowners are inside a cave in the rock where it is covered by water. Kuninjku say that young people can’t touch the water or the waterlilies and yet old and powerful people can drink at this place. Damaging the site would release an uncontrolled pestilence of these species into the world and anger the Rainbow Serpent, Ngalyod, that protects the site. Namirrkki says there is a tunnel made by the Maggot djang under the ground to another site on Bat Island near Maningrida in Myeri clan lands. In this respect the journey of the Ancestral being is considered to link Namirrkki to a wider polity of clans in the region. Namirrkki dances with the owners of this site in recognition of their joint relationship to a species that travelled through both their countries. Namirrkki occasionally paints this subject with lattices in the painting that show connections between different waterholes in the forms of the tunnels or creeks that link the different sites.

Connections of Spirit: Kuninjku, Luke Taylor 

76 × 56cm | Acrylic on Arches Paper | Cat. no: 22-23