Karnka (digging sticks) 2020
niilya (nelia wood, dark - Acacia loderi); malka (mulga wood, light - Acacia aneura)
Uncle Badger Bates was raised by his Granny Moysey, travelling their Barkandji-Kurnu kiira kiira (Country) together. Granny Moysey was a speaker of many languages and was known as a miikitya nhuungku, a ‘clever woman’. Taught to carve by her grandparents, she passed this knowledge to Uncle Badger when he was only eight years old.
Uncle Badger travels his Barkandji Country, carefully selecting fallen wood, and utilising his deep knowledge of specific woods and their technical suitability in making various implements.
The pictures incorporated on these karnka (digging sticks) celebrate the animals and plants associated with their use. Digging sticks are important tools in Aboriginal culture, most especially for women.
born Wilcannia, New South Wales 1947
lives and works Broken Hill, New South Wales
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