Bawaliba (Spirit Woman) and Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent)

“This is the djang (dreaming) of my mother and my uncles. These spirits are called Bawáliba.

A long time ago they used to go out hunting. They lived near Djinkarr, near Maningrida- that is their homeland. They used to go out hunting with dilly bags and digging sticks. They used to collect a lot of bush foods, and sleep together under one bark shelter.

This print is two Bawaliba with their dilly bag, being circled by the Rainbow Serpent just before they are eaten.

Sometimes Bawaliba still come alive when we sleep, they come into our houses or secretly peep through the windows. They might be painted in white clay and have red cloth tied around their waist. If we get up to look, they have already disappeared.

They are really tall. They are like human beings, like us. They dance in the middle of the night, and have a lot of hair. Sometimes the carry fish traps, dilly bags and digging sticks. They are good spirits, they protect us and they recognise families. They might knock on the window to remind us they are there looking out for us.

You can hear them whisper, sometimes they talk about us and might say, ‘why are they making a house here?’ Then they say to each other, ‘This family are from here, it’s ok, they are sleeping here for the night’.

During the day they turn into stone and they sleep. We can visit that sacred green rock near Djinkarr, that’s Bawáliba resting during the day.” Lucy Yarawanga

This print was created using the etching technique. It is a limited edition of 20 fine art prints, created in Maningrida in 2019.