Lot 47
  • 47

Baku Ray circa 1908 - circa 1970

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Baku Ray
  • Untitled, Larrakitj, Memorial Pole
  • Natural earth pigments on carved wood 
  • 132.5cm by 14.5 cm


Collected by Mr. James (Jim) Davidson in Arnhem Land in 1959
Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Victoria
Fiona Brockhoff, Melbourne

Catalogue Note

Cf., Helen Grogur-Wurm, Australian Aboriginal Bark Paintings and Their Mythological Interpretation, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1973, p.108, in a discussion on 'Death and Mortuary Rites', Grogur-Wurm writes, “Death in Aboriginal eyes is seen as the final crisis in a person’s earthly life - a transition to another life which is thought to be similar to the one the person has left... The occurrence of death is very upsetting for the society and affects the whole camp. A spirit does not always depart readily... Therefore great care has to be taken to ensure that the spirit of a departed does not cling to the living community but readily sets out on his journey to the Land of the Dead. Mortuary rituals extend over a long period of time and are devised to help the (birimbir) soul on its way to its final resting place... [Several months after the initial rituals have been performed], the bones of the deceased are cleaned and red ochred and brought into the camp and placed into a hollow log “coffin” bearing the totemic paintings of the deceased’s clan... These ceremonies are still performed but without the bones being disturbed.” (ibid.)