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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Amanda Pilakui Baxter


Date: 1998
Sheet: 558 × 755 mm
Medium: Paint on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Amanda Pilakui Baxter
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00032025
Place Manufactured:Melville Island

User Terms

    A painting on paper by Amanda Pilakui Baxter titled 'Kulama'.

    Clan Tarkaringa, Scally mullet
    Dance Yirrikipayi, Crocodile
    Residence Munupi, Melville Island

    "My painting depicts the Kulama ceremony - a ceremony that is of great important to the Tiwi people. I always paint Kulama because my father painted Kulama and I want to keep the spirit of Kulama alive. There are many steps performed in Kulama ceremony. It is the time yams are collected for cooking and it is the time to give new Tiwi names to cousins, brothers, daughters and sons - it's a happy time and this ceremony is Tiwi way."

    -Amanda Baxter 1998, Sydney
    SignificanceThe Kuiama ceremony is one of two ceremonies still being performed today. Amanda Baxter's family are important people in the organisation of this ceremony.
    HistoryAmanda Baxter is a Tiwi from Melville Island. Melville Island lies off the north coast of Australia, about l00 kilometers from Darwin.
    Tiwi culture has developed independently from others on the mainland. This is reflected in their art which is bold, colorful and highly abstract. The artwork being produced on the island incorporates the traditional symbolic designs of the burial poles, body designs and bark bags as well as showing the bush foods found on the island.
    Melville Island is the second largest Island on Australia's coast. Its coast is fringed with dense mangrove forest hosting a feast of bushfoods. Although many modern ways have been adapted, life on their two islands follows traditional ways. The Tiwi have two surviving important ceremonies - the Pukumani and Kulama ceremony. The Kulama ceremony is an important time of renewal. It is when the yams are harvested and many initiation ceremonies take place.
    Tiwi people have always been great singers and dancers and place great importance on those individuals seen as good songwriters, dancers and artists.

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