Barnkabarra (Mud Crabs)

This design tells the story of Elizabeth’s homeland – a dreaming place, a good dreaming place with plentiful mud crabs. Elizabeth’s homeland lies east of Maningrida, at the mouth of Blyth river. This country is known for a large spiritual mud crab, which lives in the area.

Many families go and collect crabs to eat there with long sticks, or collect directly from the shores. Mud crabs hide in the muddy bottoms of estuaries and mangrove forests in areas surrounding Maningrida. After a king tide, a large cyclical tide which bring the crabs out from the mangroves, it is a good time to find crabs.

Barnkabarra (mud crabs) in Kuninjku language, or Rrugurrgurda (mud crabs) in the Burarra language, are good baladji (bush food in Burarra) and can be caught all year round. They are put on the fire to cook and they are ready when they turn a bright orange colour.

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