Gundooee, NSW Cat No. GUN203099
Private Collection, SA
Accompanied by 3 images of Minnie Pwerle painting this artwork
The manner in which Minnie Pwerle created her works was the result of an urgency to reconnect to the past and keep the Dreaming a living reality. Painting after painting, she depicted the body designs applied to women’s breasts and limbs for the regular ceremonial revivification of her country.
These bold linear patterns of stripes and curves evoke the movement of the women as they dance during ceremony. After smearing their bodies with animal fat, they trace these designs onto their breasts, arms and thighs, singing as each woman takes her turn being ‘painted up’. Then, often by firelight, they dance in formation to ritual singing. The songs relate to the Dreamtime stories of ancestral travel, as well as plants, animals, and natural forces.
Awelye – Women’s Ceremony – demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies, they ensure well-being and happiness within their community.Share