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Gunga mät

Michelle Gaymarr

Pandanus, feathers and bush dyes

53cm x 53cm

2019

Mäts woven from bush-dyed native fibres including gunga (pandanus) are considered contemporary artworks. They are often displayed on walls and sometimes enjoyed as floor coverings. These two-dimensional works of art have developed from traditional pieces known as Bamugora.

Bamugora are at once practical and metaphorical objects associated with child conception, birth, women’s business, coming of age and death. A bamugora is symbolic of a womb that holds a fertile egg, and a fishing net that catches the newborn. It can also function as a tool for young men and women during initiation, protection from sun, wind, rain and insects, a ground cover and a shelter for a mother and her newborn, and protection for an elder nearing the end of life.

Unlike the woven mäts that have become more predominant today, bamugora are woven into triangular shapes with two sides. When the two sides of ŋaṉmarra are opened they form a conical shelter. They can also be flattened to make a ground cover, or wrapped around the body of a child or the waist of an adult. Raki (string) is attached to the top of the triangle making it easy to carry bamugora in its flattened and folded form.

Today, many Milingimbi artists explore the potential of woven patterns and combinations of colours extracted from native plant materials through their creation of mät as contemporary art pieces.

Bamugora is the Burarra term for these objects. They are known as Ŋaṉmarra in Djambarrpuyngu .

Ref: 197-19

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$550.00

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