The Wind Tree

ABADJERA: artist

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Not On Display

About the work

This bark painting depicts the totemic place of the Northwest Wind which is called the Barra. The aborigines who belong to the Barra totem visit this place at certain times of the year. They chant the Barra song and cut into the large bloodwood tree so that the northwest wind which has been held within the tree throughout the long dry season can be released. The Barra song as it is sung by aborigines, influences the Northwest wind once released to blow freely. This painting shows the Barra tree on one end, repeated for emphasis. The place where the bark is cut is shown in the two triangles on both ends. On the other panel the bloodwood is shown again together with aborigines who are dancing and singing during the ceremony. Two men can be seen with the axe with which they cut the tree. The parallel lines with the white dashes running between the men and the centre line represent the freshly released wind sweeping out of the cut in the tree. Abadjura was one of the great painters of Groote Eylandt.
Exhibited: Field: Field Museum, Chicago. 1972. Cat.
deYoung: M.H deYoung Memorial Museum, San Fransisco. 1974. Cat.
The Wind Tree
Artist/Maker and role
ABADJERA: artist
ochres on eucalyptus bark
64.8cm x 43.5cm
Credit line
Purchased through the Western Australian Government, 1988
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

View all works by ABADJERA (Australian, b.1904)

This is one of the bark paintings in our collection.