Dumbi the owl

Dumbi is an owl which resides in Ngarinyin country. A boy and a girl teased Dumbi and plucked out his feathers. Dumbi flew to the Wandjina Wodjin who said he would create a large flood to punish the tribe from where the boy and girl came. At a place called Wanalirri, the Wandjina gathered a large flock of brolgas which stomped on a huge black soil plain to create quicksand.

The flood came and drowned many people; those who tried to escape were lost in the quicksand. The boy and girl were safe because they were on high ground, they were taken there by a kangaroo, and they travelled on the kangaroo’s tail. A Tata lizard called Ganada warned the Wandjina that the boy and the girl had escaped. The rains and lightning started to chase the boy and girl and they ran to a hollowed out boab tree. Once they were in the tree, the Wandjina closed it up and they were lost for ever.

In another version of the story the boy and girl survive the flood and mate to produce a new tribe.

Courtesy of Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre

..Acrylic and Ochre on canvas
..450mm x 1200mm
Copyright Line
..© Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre 2014