This etching & silkscreen is #44 of a limited edition of 45. It was one of 10 prints by outstanding Indigenous artists included in a collection entitled Custodians: Country and Culture.
Bardayal has depicted Nayuyungi, the 'first people' of creation time. They were the ancestors of the present day binninj (Aboriginal people of the region). Nayuyungi were taught everything they needed to know by mimis, the original spirit beings of the region. According to the Kunwinjku people of Western Arnhem Land mimi existed before humans and taught aspects of ceremony, hunting and bush food collection.
Gavin Namarnyilk, Bardayal's grandson, has added Nakurrurndilhba, as it appears on a rock painting near Marlkowa with the images perched back to back. Nakurrurndilhba is a spirit that lives in the hollow tree logs and carries a black poisonous snake, possibly a taipan. It eats the snake raw. Only 'clever men' like Bardayal may see him.
Bardayal is generally recognised as the last rock art practitioner and collaborated with Gavin and Basil Hall Editions to present this work in the rock art tradition.