Mary Elizabeth Moreen

Jilamara, Milakapiti, Melville Island Triptych

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Jilamara, Milakapiti, Melville Island Triptych
Jilamara, Milakapiti, Melville Island Triptych

Mary Elizabeth Moreen

Jilamara, Milakapiti, Melville Island Triptych

Medium: Natural ochres on paper
Size: 56 x 76 cm
Year: 1999
Price: $ NFS
NFS

According to Tiwi belief, the Islands were created by an old blind woman, Mudungkala, who emerged from the ground and moved through the area with her three children, creating the familiar features of the land as she went. The land mass itself was created so her children would have a place to live and food to eat. After this time of Parlingarri (creation), Tiwi lived across the islands in family groups, affiliated with separate areas of country along patrilineal lines. The word Tiwi means simply ‘We the people’ and has been used to describe the group since contact. The Tiwi word 'Jilamara', which roughly translates to ‘design’, refers to the intricate ochre patterning traditionally applied to the bodies of dancers and the surface of carved poles during the Pukamani funeral ceremony. This ceremony is still a part of community life and continues to inform the current art practice of the Tiwi people. Tiwi work displays its own regionally distinct identity, and varies greatly in form and content from the indigenous art of the Arnhem and Central Desert regions of Australia.

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