natural earth pigments on canvas
75 x 50cm
Munupi Arts, Tiwi Islands NT
Coo-ee Gallery, Bondi NSW
During ceremony on the Tiwi Islands a series of ‘yoi’ (dances), are performed; some are totemic (inherited from the person's Mother) and some serve to act out the narrative of newly composed songs. Participants in these ceremonies are painted with turtiyanginari (the different natural ochre colours) in varying designs, transforming the dancers and, in some cases, providing protection against recognition by mapurtiti (spirits). These designs can be applied in different ways. Ochre is applied to the body and face. These significant artistic designs collectively are called ‘Jilamara’.