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© Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri/Licenced by Viscopy, 2017


Date: 1995
1860 x 102 x 40 mm, 0.85 kg
Display Dimensions: 1861 x 102 mm
Medium: Ochres, carved stringybark
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri
Object Name: Spear
Object No: 00019566

User Terms

    This is an arawunigiri, or a girl's Tiwi ceremonial spear, made by Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri.
    It is carved and decorated with traditional Tiwi clan designs and used in the Pukumani mortuary ceremony. The shaft of the spear is painted in white ochres and tapers at the end. The head features barbs on each side which indicated it is a female spear (male spears having barbs on one side only). The rows of barbs are painted with black, mustard, white and red ochres in the form of geometric lines and dot formations.
    Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri was an important Tiwi elder on Melville Island and a senior artist in the community. He was also the father of Andrew Freddy Puruntatameri who has produced several works for the National Maritime Collection.
    SignificanceThe Pukamani ceremony has been practised since the first death of a human, Tjinani, and is held months after the burial or Iliana ceremony. In adition to the tutini, the Pukamani ceremony also involves dancing and singing and the making of additional objects such as armbands and ceremonial spears.
    History"Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association was established in 1989, at first as an adult education centre focused on fabric printing and under the guidance of textile artist, James Bennett. As well as quickly gaining a reputation for fabric, the centre soon became widely recognised for distinctive paintings and carved works. Key figures in this shift were the ‘two old ladies’ of Jilamara, Kitty Kantilla (C.1928-2003) and Freda Warlapinni (C.1928-2003) who were predominately producing works on paper and linen, and also artists, such as Paddy Freddy Puruntatameri (c.1925-2000), who were eager to see the tradition of carving continued through the art centre .These older, established figures of Tiwi Art created a rigorous framework at the centre and many of the second-generation artists who continue to practice at Jilamara today established themselves during this period, under their informal guidance. "
    - Jilamara Arts and Crafts Assoc.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Arawunigiri

    Assigned title: Female ceremonial spear

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