Au-gujechiya (fishtrap) Screen Print by Elizabeth Wullunmingu

Au-gujechiya (fishtrap) Screen Print

TITLE                          Au-gujechiya

YEAR                          2022

MEDIUM                     Screen print

DETAILS                    2 screen

Au-gujechiya  means  fishtrap in the Burrarra language which is one of the traditional  languages spoken in the Maningrida region. Elizabeth’s homeland is Gupanga, Arnhem Land which located on a saltwater estuary, a great place for catching fish.

Elizabeth obtained permission from her djunkay to create a screen print design about a historic object traditionally used to trap fish in rivers, creeks, and estuaries. 

In the early wet season, fish swim upstream for breeding in creeks and billabongs, then downstream to spend the dry season in larger rivers. The traps would be set to face the oncoming fish, with woven fencing either side. Within the mouth of the trap is a woven funnel that guides the fish in and prevents their escape. The clever design ensures that only adult fish are caught as smaller fish can escape through the weaving or even through the funnel. The fish that are caught can survive in the trap for up to two months. Once the trap is removed, the end is untied to remove the fish. This sustainable design means the trap can be used again and again.