During Wangarr, the time before the first morning, Muriyana a hunter of the Yirritja
moiety was hunting on the beaches of Gurala with his wives. As the wives were
collecting oysters they saw a large shark near the beach. Muriyana entered the water
in a state known as Madakarritj, becoming violently dangerous. Bending his spear over
his head in the threatening pose of a warrior he snapped it in two. His anger was now
sufficient to kill the shark-Bul’manydji.
Bul’manydji was butchered at Gurala and the segments of his body are sung today by
the various clan groups of the Dhuwa.
The red and black bands of cross hatching around the shark depict the flow of blood
and fat into the salt water. The concepts of blood flow, the washing of the tides and
altered states of the water are particularly potent for the Yolngu of north east Arnhem