Arnhem Land Banumbirr Morning Star Poles x 3 Set (AD012)
Description of item:
3 poles; wood bush string natural earth ochre’s feathers, hair, bush string; very good condition; 1970’s.
Height (tallest): 180 cm (71 inches)
Diameter: 5 cm (2 inches)
The banumbirr (morning star poles) in this grouping were made by artists from Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island), a small island off the northern shore of Arnhem Land. These magical authentic banumbirr morning star poles are used in one of the most sacred of Aboriginal rituals and celebrate the importance of the morning star and are used in ceremonies in North-Eastern Arnhem Land. Both men and women are responsible for making different parts of the poles. Clan leaders oversee the development and take responsibility for passing on banumbirr knowledge and rituals. The strings attached to the poles represent the fine roots on yam plants, while the beautiful tufts of feathers (pul-pul) on the tips of some poles represent the bright morning star. At shared ceremonies and social occasions, songs and dances are performed to formally unite separate groups. Banumbirr poles are made in a secret location and then celebrated when they are revealed as part of the final stage of a morning star ceremony. These performances are also used to remember the dead and the actions of spirit ancestors are performed in rituals.
Arthur Palmer, Brisbane, Australia