Painting on bark

Description:
A picture of a tree and two snakes, in mustard, brown, black and white pigments, painted on bark.


Context:
Paget clearly thought that the design represented the Wawalag (Wagilag) creation myth. On p.19 of his notebook, he quotes extensively from the literature on the two sisters creation myth and describes in detail a painting from Millingimbi on the same theme which is now in the Australian Museum. If this interpretation is correct, we see a python standing erect after engorging all the water from the lagoon, so that it can spew it out to create a deluge, the first monsoon, which is perhaps represented by the sloping bands of cross-hatching in the background. The python then collapses (bottom right) leaving its imprint on the ground.