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Title

Tunga

Unknown


Artist

Maryanne Mungatopi

Australia

1966 - 2003

Language group

Tiwi, North region


About

Tunga's are made from stringybark bark, which can only be collected during the wet season when the bark is moist and flexible. The bark is cut using a chainsaw, stripped smooth with a knife and cured over a fire before being bent into shape and sewn up with a bush string stripped from the native hibiscus. The tunga is left to dry for a few days before being painted with locally gathered ochres. Tungas were an everyday necessity for Tiwi, used to carry food. When a Tiwi person dies the tunga is placed upturned on the pukumani pole (grave-post) signifying the end of life. The tunga is decorated with designs associated with Tiwi ceremonial body designs.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004


Details


Place where the work was made

Melville Island Northern Territory Australia


Date

Unknown


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

natural pigments on eucalyptus bark


Dimensions

78.5 x 58.5 x 39.0 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Helen Read 2004


Location

Not on display


Accession number

141.2004


Artist information

Maryanne Mungatopi

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Melville Island