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Gilbun Hill (Mabel Downs Hill), 2018

by Shirley Purdie

Gilbun Hill (Mabel Downs Hill), 2018

“This my dad’s mother. They bin say how she bin passed away, and they bin put him (her) la that tree to find out more how she bin passed away. They bin pull him (her) down from this tree and take him la cave and put him (her) away.”

This is the burial site of Shirley’s paternal grandmother. When she passed away, the elders took her body and wrapped it up in Mendammbirri (paperbark) and put it up in a tree in Mabel Downs, near the river, following Gija traditional customs. As she wasn’t very old, the family wanted to find out more about how she passed away. After they did find out the possible cause of her death, they buried her in a cave nearby, in the hills of Mabel Downs.

Courtesy of Shirley Purdie (Nangari) and Warmun Art Centre