'Wai-ai (Bima)' 2018-09-25

80 x 30cm, natural ochres on canvas


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Wai-ai (Bima) was the wife of Purukaparli, the first Tiwi to perform the pukumani (funeral) ceremony (for his deceased son). While gathering bush tucker Wai-ai was enticed into the trees to make love with her brother in law, Taparra. She left her baby son Jinani in the shade, but was away for so long that he perished from heatstroke. Her husband, enraged and devastated, fought Taparra, who flew away and became the moon. Wai-ai became the curlew bird, forever crying out her grief in the dusk.


Cat: 432-18