Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Creation MB053577-Charmaine Pwerle

Acrylic on Linen
120 x 120cm
Year Painted


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Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Creation MB053577-Charmaine Pwerle

Charmaine paints Awelye (Women's Ceremonial Body Paint Designs) for the ancestral dreamtime stories which belong to her country, Atnwengerrp, in the Utopia Region. Atnwengerrp is also her mother and grandmother's country.

The bold linear designs in this painting represent Awelye. These designs are painted onto the chest, 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 the songs associated with their Awelye as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'. Women perform Awelye ceremonies to demonstrate respect for their country and the total well-being and health of their community.

In the Dreamtime, the ancient ancestors created Atnwengerrp country, and all its accompanying land formations, flora, fauna and Dreamtime Stories. In this painting, Charmaine used black and white to represent the beginning of the creation of her land and law.

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Mbantua Darwin Gallery