Arwengerrp (Bush Turkey) MB039158-Rosie Pwerle

Acrylic on Canvas
60 x 45cm
Year Painted


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Arwengerrp (Bush Turkey) MB039158-Rosie Pwerle

Rosie is painting elements of the Bush Turkey story. This story is associated with the ancestral dreaming from her country, Iylenty, also known as Ahalpere.

The bush turkey (Ardeotis australis) known as arwengerrp in Anmatyerre is usually found in densely grassed areas. It is a favoured food for the aboriginal people and hunting is still carried out to this day.

In this painting, Rosie says the dot work represents 'the turkey's tucker' - food that the bush turkey likes to eat. This particular food is called akatyerre; the desert raisin or bush tomato. The white dots in this painting however are particularly symbolic of the white ochre that the women use for body paint associated with this story and the curvilinear pattern of dot work represents the Awelye (Women's Ceremonial Body Paint Designs). These designs are painted onto the chest, breasts, arms and thighs of the women for ceremony. Powders may be ground from red and yellow ochre (clays), charcoal and ash then mixed with animal fats to bind as paint.
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