Mila Takujan, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
90 x 120 cm
My name is Chern’ee Sutton and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in Queensland. This painting is called “Mila Takujan” which means in the Kalkadoon language “Red Snake” and this is my interpretation of the red snake. Long, long ago there was an enormous snake that breathed fire, he had such beautiful coloured red skin that it glistened in the sunlight and reflected for miles around, Mila Takujan was the snakes name and his beauty was admired by all other snakes. One day Tuat who was a smaller beautifully coloured green tree snake with yellow stripes challenged Mila Takujans beauty saying he was far more beautiful with his green colour and yellow stripes. Mila Takujan laughed off Tuats challenge until some of the other snakes started to agree that Tuat was indeed more beautiful than Mila Takujan. Red Snake could not believe his ears, he was furious and knew he must do something before he lost all his admirers. With that thought he asked Tuat to turn around so he could see his beauty from behind and when Tuat agreed and turned his back Red Snake blew his fire trying to burn poor Tuat. When Tuat realised what was happening he slithered as quickly as he could and kept going until he reached the ocean and jumped in, there he lives today soothing his yellow stripes that are now black.
Watching from far above the wind spirit saw the terrible thing that Mila Takujan had done and was so upset she blew with all her might and changed the direction of the fire blowing it back towards Mila Takujan, Red Snake tried with all his might to slither away but he was too big and couldn’t escape the fire. With only one choice left Mila Takujan turned and headed straight into the fire thinking if he could make it through the fire, the other side would already be burnt and he could survive. As he went through the fire he felt like he was melting but knew he had to keep going despite the pain. When he reached the other side he took his first breath but mistakenly swallowed some fire burning him inside as well. With burns all over him he kept going until he reached a waterhole and could soothe his pain, upon looking closer at his wounds Mila Takujan was horrified to see that his beautiful red markings on his back had been burnt black and his stomach was now a bright red from head to tail from the hot ashes and fire. The wind spirit also had another surprise for Mila Takujan because of his lies and deceipt, the fire had also burnt his throat so he could no longer breathe fire but could only speak with the poison and forked tongue of a red bellied black snake.
AUD 5,000.00Print this Page