On this page...


An extraordinary treasure that will be featured in the Westpac Long Gallery in 2017.

The Morning Star Pole is used in important Dhüwra ceremonies – for circumcision, death and burial. The top feathers represent the morning star itself, with the different bands painted to resemble different facets of its light. The long arms are the rays of the star, which gather up and return the souls of the deceased to their final resting place on the morning star. In Dhüwra mythology, the morning star, called Banumbirr, came to Elcho Island from the east, and created the lands and animals as she crossed the shoreline.

Morning star pole
Terry Dhurritjini Yumbulul (Warramiri people)
Wood, ochre, string, feathers
Elcho Island, Northern Territory
Purchased from the artist 1983
E078903