Local Name

numalga or djerrk

Physical Description

A netted string bag with a multistrand handle of vegetable fibre string attached either side of the opening. It contains two blue glass beads.


This bag was identified by the late Garnbaladj Nabegeyo as being made by Kunwinjku women. In discussion with curator, Lindy Allen, Garnbaladj explained that Kunwinjku use "fine one string. Banyan root not bark. Gagadju use the bark for [their] string. We see what kind of string" to identify who made it. She further commented that there is "No ochre on this one - already got red! ... sometimes got from underground root and sometimes tree above ground (bark)". The banyan root, she said is manbornde (an alternate spelling is marnborrndae), and the bark is manbutbut, but all string bags they call djerrk." Garnbaladj Nabegeyo further explained that the women make four kinds of string, "Bark (one) is manbutbut alright. The other one (is) from the seed (munmin) apple (or marngol). We cook it - going black. Marnkaralakman, we're digging that root on the ground. Other one we got (is a) grass. We (also) got one like bark, he's got hair, marrndiln... I always go and collect at Border Store - the landing. When I see those people at Mumeka, they are always using that marngol, digging...and we're digging that one"

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