Ara refers to the “boxing waves” – the waves look as if they are boxing. They are formed behind the reefs and during the strong current. This is a survival story, this particular story about Ara – teaches how you can survive when your motor boat breaks. The second teaching is where to find the turtles when it is a fast current and you can’t find the turtles on the reefs. You will find the turtles behind the reef where the boxing waves are. This is especially told to young boys on their first hunt – Zugngurpa – His uncle goes with him turtle hunting referred to Ara, and he will say when you go to these reefs there was not any turtles – all the turtles are there – in the “boxing” waves – that shape of the crest of the waves.
This print is featured in the National Gallery of Australia’s definitive publication, ‘Printed, images of Australian artists 1942-2020 by Roger Butler.