Utnea (Carpet Snake) at Aremela Rockhole MB043357-Gary Bird Mpetyane

Acrylic on Canvas
90 x 90cm
Year Painted


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Utnea (Carpet Snake) at Aremela Rockhole MB043357-Gary Bird Mpetyane

This painting represents Utnea at Aremela Rockhole. Aremela Rockhole is a sacred site for Gary and his people. In this painting the large concentric circles represent Aremela Rockhole and the smaller circles represent smaller rock holes nearby at Aremela. Parallel lines stemming from the concentric circles represent travelling lines of the Ilkawerne people to and from Aremela Rockhole. Short parallel lines in this painting represent tyape (grubs) and small curved lines represent dry sticks nearby. Arntep are common bronzewings (pigeons) and their tracks are represented in this painting by the small arrow shapes. Arntep meat can be eaten to stop you from getting sick. U shapes equal men. Other symbols are sacred men's symbols.

According to Dreamtime, Utnea, as represented in this painting by the S shapes, is a carpet snake who is king of all the carpet snakes, and is the 'boss man' for Ilkawerne country. The dreamtime story for Utnea is a very important story for Gary which belongs to his country, Ilkawerne, and tells of his ancestors travelling as carpet snakes, coming across many waterholes and campsites. They are hunting and singing their sacred songs, before stopping and changing back to people.
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