Theliny Theliny-Warriny: Two Mothers for the Moon

"This is Garnkiny [the moon] and those two mothers who are sisters, nyaji [those trees].

"Those two women were singing love songs. Singing beautiful songs. That moon, that old man, wanted to marry a woman who was wrong way skin for him. That moon bin talk to everyone because he wanted to marry a woman who was daawul, a blackheaded snake. But he couldn't marry her, he was supposed to marry her daughters.

"He got shamed and walked off and turned into the moon. Then, he turned around and cursed everyone. He said, 'You can be anything, a tree, rock'. He turned some into trees, that's them there. And he is the moon."

This is a painting about an important tradition in Gija culture which continues today. Traditionally, the mother-in-law relationship with her son-in-law, is referred to as Lambarra. These two are not supposed to talk to each other or say each other's name. The story is important to pass on to younger Gija generations – it is a warning to ensure that one marries the right way – not the wrong way.

Courtesy of Warmun Art

..Natural ochre and pigments on canvas
..1500mm x 1500mm
Copyright Line
..Copyright Warmun Art Centre