Funeral ceremony

Mawalan MARIKA: attributed to

Not On Display

About the work

Mawalan Marika, a great law man and cultural leader of the Rirratjingu people of Yirrkala in Arnhem Land was born in 1908. In 1963 Marika was one of the artists involved in the Land Rights bark petition. This petition was from the Yolngu people and a protest to their traditional lands being developed as a bauxite mine. Presented to the Government in the form of a bark painting this petition initiated what would be the beginnings of formal recognition of traditional custodians, the roles they play in maintaining their lands and a timeless relationship with their country.

In this bark painting, Funeral Ceremony Marika depicts traditional ceremony and mortuary rights of the Yolngu people. The central figure is deceased and is surrounded by his people, who now prepare his body and spirit to take its last journey to the afterworld, until the spirit can be reborn.
Funeral ceremony
Artist/Maker and role
Mawalan MARIKA: attributed to
ochre on bark
27.0 x 47.0 x 2.0cm
Credit line
Purchased 1959
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the bark paintings in our collection.