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Acryl on linen
61 x 91 cm
This painting depicts designs associated with the soakage water site of Pulinyanu, which is slightly north of the Nyirrpi Community. In ancestral times, a group of women of the Nampitjinpa and Nangala kinship subsections, gathered at this site to perform the dances and sing the songs associated with the area.
The women are represented in the painting by the U shapes, while the roundels in the work represent the soakage waters at the site. The women collected Witjirrki (wild fi g) from nearby trees and gathered wood for making wana (digging sticks). Upon completion of the ceremonies at Pulinyanu the women continued their travels east.
In many situations, individuals are completely transformed, so they become the spirit ancestor they are portraying in their dance. Body painting ranges from simply smearing clay across the face to hill body patterning, The body paint is derived from blood, natural ochres, spinifex ash and emu fat. Elaborate ground constructions (sand paintings) are also made for the ceremonies. Patterns must conform to the ceremony being performed, and the women are not at liberty to adorn themselves with designs of free will.