This necklace has been made with the vertebrae taken from a young shark, the generic name of which is burrugu. The flesh is removed and the vertebrae are dried before being strung on a length of vegetable fibre string to make girring girring, the Yolngu term for necklaces and jewellery in general. Beads made of shark vertebrae are only used for this purpose, and are intimately associated with the Galpu and Djapu clans. These are Dhuwa moiety clans with strong connections to the Shark Dreaming, and it is the responsibility of these clans to hunt sharks and make these ornaments for others. Rose Marmininy is a senior Galpu woman from Elcho Island who makes these girring girring. In her work she combines shark vertebrae with feathered string, the feathers having been source from the parrot Trichoglossus rubritorquis. Rose explains the "special" importance of shark for Djambarrpuyngu-Guyula and other Djambarrpuyngu groups, "We sing this one, this one is ours." In Donald Thomson's accounts, he notes that these necklaces were given the same name used to describe the young sharks, which is burrugu.

Physical Description

A two strand necklace made with shark vertebrae threaded on vegetable fibre string.

Local Name


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