Lipundja (circa 1912-1968) Mokuy (Wild Honey Figure), c.1964 height: 66.0cm (26in).

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Lot 6
Lipundja
(circa 1912-1968)
Mokuy (Wild Honey Figure), c.1964 height: 66.0cm (26in).

Sold for AU$ 7,930 (US$ 5,831) inc. premium
The Serra Collection (lot 1-16)
Lipundja (circa 1912-1968)
Mokuy (Wild Honey Figure), c.1964
natural earth pigments on wood
height: 66.0cm (26in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Eudald Serra Collection, Barcelona, acquired in Melbourne 1964
    The Estate of Eudald Serra, Barcelona

    EXHIBITED
    Arte Aborigen Australiano, Sala de Santa Catalina del Ateneo, Madrid, 11 May 1967

    LITERATURE
    Alberto Folch and Eudald Serra, Arte Aborigen Australiano, Cuadernos de Arte, Madrid, 1967

    RELATED EXAMPLES
    Wild Honey Figure, 1963, earth pigments on wood, 80.0 x 17.0 x 13.5cm, in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (accession no. 1997.272)
    Wild Honey Figure, 1963, earth pigments on wood, 89.5 x 14.0 x 14.0cm, in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (accession no. 1997.340)

    Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, discusses Mokuy figures held in the gallery's collection, including an example with similar designs to this lot: "Representational mortuary figures of Mokuy (Sinister or Shadow Spirits) made in North-Eastern Arnhem Land are derived from bound bark figures or from square sectioned and painted grave-post figures named Wuramu. The latter were in turn influenced by the grave posts of the Macassans, who visited the shores of Arnhem Land for some four centuries before their visits were prohibited by the Australian Government in 1907. In Yolngu languages a Mokuy is a ghost or the sinister spirit of a deceased person. Mokuy inhabit the vicinity of the burial ground and are liable to harm those who venture too near...

    Lipundja's commanding figure articulated with diamond markings represents Murayana, a Wild Honey Spirit that bears Gupapuyngu clan designs belonging to the artist. These designs signify niwuda, wild honey of the Yirritja moiety, bequeathed to the Gupapuyngu people by Lanydjung, a major ancestral being. The diamonds denote a honeycomb filled with honey, the dots indicate bees and the whole configuration represents the structure of a beehive. When painted on an initiate's body or a ceremonial object, this design invokes the power of the honey spirit who created the sacred songs, dances and designs for this honey type in the Wangarr (Ancestral period)."

    Judith Ryan, Lipundja and unknown Yolngu artist: Mokuy figures in Art Journal 52, 25 September 2014 (accessed online June 2020: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/lipundja-and-unknown-yolngu-artist-mokuy-figures/)
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