Gali Yalkarriwuy (born circa 1942) and Terry Dhurritjini Yumbulbul (born circa 1950)
Banumbirr Poles natural earth pigments, natural binder with bush twine and feathers on softwood Heights: 142, 136 and 100cm
PROVENANCE: Executed in the Elcho Island region in the 1970s Acquired by a linguist working on Elcho Island in the 1970s Sotheby's, Important Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, 28 June 1999, lot 44 Private collection
These three exceptionally fine Banumbirr, (Morning Star Poles) were originally sold with accompanying documentation that read as follows 'An elaborate song cycle relates to Bralgu, Dhuwa land of the dead. Spirit characters there send out Morning Stars to different places on the mainland. The stars are attached to strings and can be pulled back again. In the mortuary ritual which replicates events at Bralgu it is used in dancing. The design represents the sand dunes on which the spirits dance, and the round circles the stars'.
Yumbulul, of the Warramiri people of Wigram Island in the Wessell Islands is an important ceremonial and community leader for an area that covers approximately 30 islands off the coast of North East Arnhem Land. He is renowned for his exquisitely constructed Banumbirr (Morning Star Poles). One from the Australian Museum's collection was controversially reproduced on an Australian ten dollar note to coincide with Australia's bicentenary and then was subsequently withdrawn from production.