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MB033076

Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard) MB033076-Nancy Kunoth Petyarre


Medium
Acrylic on Linen
Size
120 x 90cm
Year Painted
2006

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MB033076

Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard) MB033076-Nancy Kunoth Petyarre

The linear work in Nancy's painting represents Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs) for the Arnkerrthe Dreamtime story. This story belongs to the people from Atnangkere and Alhalkere country in the Utopia region, northeast of Alice Springs.

The women smear their bodies with animal fat then trace these patterns onto their breasts, arms and thighs. Powders ground from red and yellow ochre (clays), charcoal and ash are used as body paint and applied with a flat stick with soft padding. The women sing as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'. Their songs relate to the ancestral travels of the Mountain Devil Lizard as it makes the long journey north to Waramungu country, carrying the ochre for body paint in the small sac on the back of its neck. The long linear work stretching across the painting represents the tracks along this journey as well as the spine of Arnkerrthe.

Arnkerrthe has the ability to camouflage itself by changing colours. The traditional colours used for ceremony are ochre red, yellow and white.
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