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Tingari men and the ancestral snake at Wilkinkarra
By Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri
Ceremony is central to the preservation and celebration of Aboriginal Australia with hundreds of social groups performing nuanced rituals that bring dance, song and medicine together to connect people to the Tjukkurpa Dreaming).
With ceremony and ritual, even the most mundane tasks can be transformed into a meaningful tradition that puts the mind and body in a calm and positive space. There is comfort and safety in performing the same tasks every morning, and the morning ritual sets the tone for the whole day.
In our modern world, coffee is one of the fundamental aspects of the morning ritual for many.
Tingari men and the Ancestral Snake at Wilkinkarra depicts images associated with the swamp site of Marawa, situated slightly west of Wilkinkarra Lake Mackay) in Western Australia. During ancestral times a large group of Tingari men travelled to Marawa from the west, and after arriving at the site, passed beneath the earth’s surface and continued travelling underground. It is also said that a huge ancestral snake sleeps in this swamp.
Generally, the Tingari are a group of ancestral beings of the Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari women, and were accompanied by novices, and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These ancestral stories form teachings, and provide explanations for many of the contemporary Aboriginal customs of today.
About the Artist:
Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri paints images of sacred stories and songs from his family’s Dreaming. The stories focus around the ancestors of the Pintupi, spirit beings who are believed to have created all living things. He is a member of the famous Pintupi Nine.
Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri began painting in 1987, with the Papunya Tula Artists. His first public exhibition was held in Melbourne the following year. He showed 11 paintings, and they were all bought by the National Gallery of Victoria. Warlimpirrnga’s work is held in several major public collections across Australia and overseas, such as the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.
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