11. Kulama Design
“So the three circles represents my Dad and the three day Kulama ceremony, he’s singing about the three wells that we have in our country. We have a sacred site, so this story goes with the story of the three wells that we have up there. Sacred site. One well has clean, holy water that heals us. The other one has oil. The third one has the serpent protecting us and the holy water.” ~ Lidwina (Nina) Tepomitari
- Ochre on Linen, stretched
120vm x 80cm
- Cat 23-124
The Kulama design depicts this important ceremony of the Tiwi people; the dancers and singers create a circle and prepare the poisonous yam for eating, as indicated by the circles in the painting.
The Kulama ceremony was given to the Tiwi people by the Nyingawi, who are little spirit people (as depicted in Tiwi mythology). It is a celebration of life and food, occurring at the end of the wet season.
The Tiwi know when to perform Kulama when the last full moon of the wet season has a yellow halo surrounding it, which tells them that Japarra (the moon man) is ready for it to begin.
Lidwina (Nina) Tepomitari Puruntatameri (b. 1971) was taught to paint by her father, Romuald Puruntatameri. As a 14 year old, she would come home from school and work with him, painting his spears. Lidwina Puruntatameri has worked at both Nguiu Adult Education and Munupi Arts & Crafts doing bark painting, screen printing, works on linen, etchings and linocuts. In 1993 Lidwina Puruntatameri won the Award for New Medium at the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin, providing recognition for her exceptional skills in etching. In recent years Lidwina has worked mainly on canvas using ochres and her works sought after. Lidwina’s father, Romuald Puruntatameri, is represented in the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory Collection and her grandfather, Paddy Teeampi Tepomitari Puruntatameri, and her aunt, Rosina Puantulura, both carvers, are represented in the Melbourne Museum Collection. Lidwina’s work is represented in many Australian and International private and public collections. Her mother's Country is Port Keats, NT and her father's Country is Pukulimpi, Melville Island. Her Skin Group is March Fly and her Dreaming is Kirlima (Jungle Fowl).
Munupi Art is wholly indigenous owned and governed. Generated income supports the artist's families and therefore the whole Tiwi community.
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