'Waiai (Bima) and Purukuparli'

39.5 x 30cm (image), hard ground etching


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Purukuparli and Bima were the firstTiwi man and woman and they lived in harmony with their world.One day hunting, Bima was seduced by her brother in law (husbands brother)Taparra. Tragically, her baby son Jinani was left sleeping in the shade, and as the lovers lingered the sun fell on the baby and he died of heatstroke.Purukuparli was warned of this disaster by Tokwampini the bird, and he was enraged and grief stricken. Accusing his brother, the two men fought violently, with Taparra finally retreating in defeat to become the moon.Bima became the curlew, and is often heard calling out her remorse in the dusk.Jinani’s was the first death to come to the Tiwi people, and Purukuparli performed the first and most elaborate pukumani ceremony, finishing by wading into the sea with his baby son’s body. From that day forward, all Tiwi would die and be honoured through pukumani ceremonies.


Cat: 290b-14-1/10