1498-19

$2,000.00

Ethel Thomas

Makarrki, 2013

90.5 x 60 cm

Acrylic on canvas

 

Makarrki is a major estuary in northern Bentinck Island. At Makarrki, the largest source of meat in the Kaiadilt world, dugong, would regularly enter the estuary during high tide. Sneaking in behind them, the Kaiadilt men would erect long nets across the narrow mouth of the eastern lagoon, and wait for the tide to retreat. The returning dugong fell prey to the nets, entangling themselves, whereupon the men with their bare hands would 'wrestle' them, climbing on their necks and drowning them in the shallows. In effect then, Makarrki was a traditional slaughterhouse where livestock herded itself, by virtue of the Kaiadilt's wily exploitation of natural tidal flows.