Babbarra Dress Tie – Lorrkon (Funeral Log)

Ngarridj Derek Carter is wearing one of our limited edition dress ties.

Ngarridj Derek Carter is a Senior Artworker and Cultural Liaison at Maningrida Arts & Culture who started his career back in 1996. Derek is a Martay Burarra speaker and a member of the Balkarranga clan from Any.jola. Ngarridj works tirelessly for artists and designers in the Maningrida region and looks  great in a bow tie too! #doublederek

Artist: Susan Marawarr
Medium: Screen print on cotton
Model: Derek Carter (wearing a slightly different colourway)
Photography: Babbarra Women’s centre

Made in Australia

The Lorrkkon or hollow-log coffin ceremony is the final ceremony in a sequence of mortuary rituals celebrated by the people of Arnhem Land. This ceremony might take place many years after the person has died, and involves the placing of the deceased’s bones into a hollow log that is decorated with painted clan designs and ceremonially placed into the ground where it slowly decays over many years.

The lorrkkon (hollow-log coffin) is made from the trunk of a termite-hollowed manbuluduk (stringybark tree, Eucalyptus tetradonta) and is decorated with totemic emblems. The western Arnhem Land version of the Lorrkkon ceremony involves the singing of sacred songs to the accompaniment of karlikarli, a pair of sacred boomerangs used as rhythm instruments. During the final evening of the ceremony, dancers decorate themselves with kapok down or, today, cotton wool, and conduct much of the final segments of the ceremony in the secrecy of a restricted men’s camp. The complete ceremony may stretch over a period of two weeks, but on the last night the bones of the deceased, which have been kept in a bark container, or today wrapped in cloth and kept in a suitcase, are taken out, and are painted with red ochre and placed inside the hollow-log coffin.

Kuninjku artist Susan Marawarr was born in 1967 into a strong artistic family.  She is the daughter of Anchor Kulunba and Mary Wurrdjedje, and the sister of acclaimed bark painters James Iyuna and John Mawurndjul.  Marawarr is an accomplished printmaker, sculptor, weaver and bark painter.  Common subjects of her work include the powerful djang of wak wak, ngalyod and yawkyawk mythologies alongside the imagery of  popular everyday items like dilly bags, fish-traps,  mats and baskets.  She is known for her striking black and white palette.  This combined with her use of deep perspective often creates graphic optical effects, movement and energy in her idiosyncratic works.