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Birth Ceremony – Bush Tucker

6 600 

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During the Time of Creation, the Ancestors taught the Pintupi People how to gather wild food (bush tucker) and perform ceremonies. In this visual story, women collect food for a birth ceremony during which the child is "bathed" in smoke. For this ritual, smoke from burnt native plants is used. The smoking ceremony is to protect the newborn from evil spirits – lest it result in the child being stolen, never to be seen again. The ritual takes place at night, during the full moon, where the smiling women dancing and singing can be seen in the moonlight. Barbara Reid Napangarrdi, born in the Gibson Desert, portrayed this story using traditional colours and iconography of the Pintupi People. In the centre of the painting, she depicts an elongated form symbolising a local salt lake. Above are red concentric circles representing the ceremony site and the "u" shapes represent women. At the bottom, the artist depicts an apron made of human hair (resembling the letter "E"), used by women to cover their lower bodies. Concentric circles below denote a spindle used by women to craft hair into strings. Semi-circles on both sides of the painting symbolise rocks or painted female breasts. Oval yellow shapes represent bush apples and other food. The artist uses bright colours, applying paint in thick layers. Her works are part of Australian and international collections.

Barbara Reid Napangarrdi, born in the Gibson Desert, portrayed this story using traditional colours and iconography of the Pintupi People. In the centre of the painting, she depicts an elongated form symbolising a local salt lake. Above are red concentric circles representing the ceremony site and the "u" shapes represent women. At the bottom, the artist depicts an apron made of human hair (resembling the letter "E"), used by women to cover their lower bodies. Concentric circles below denote a spindle used by women to craft hair into strings. Semi-circles on both sides of the painting symbolise rocks or painted female breasts. Oval yellow shapes represent bush apples and other food. The artist uses bright colours, applying paint in thick layers. Her works are part of Australian and international collections

The artist uses bright colours, applying paint in thick layers. Her works are part of Australian and international collections.