Minnie Pwerle

Bush Melon #566

Acrylic on canvas
122 x 91.5 cm
(48 x 36 in)

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In this painting Minnie depicts the traditional Body Painting used during women’s ceremony. The people of Utopia used body paint designs for corroborees or ceremonies, celebrating/depicting all aspects of traditional lore. Each clan has its own totem/Dreaming story an the body paint designs are usually the same for each depiction. Long ago, the paint was made up from earth coloured ochres and resins, charcoal and white ash from the campfire were also used. These days acrylic paint has replaced these natural pigments and the designs have become more colourful, still retaining the same basic shapes.Men and women's totems differ. Many of the dreamings involve bush tucker (for he women) and hunting stories for the men. In this painting, the roundels depict bush melon, an important totem for Minnie.

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