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Male figure in ceremonial array

circa 1960s


Illortaminni Mick Aruni


circa 1917 – 1973

Language group: Tiwi, North region

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Melville Island Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Tiwi Islands
    circa 1960s
    Media category
    Materials used
    carved and painted blackwood, wax, feathers, cane, natural pigments
    91.0 x 15.0 cm
    Gift of Harry Messel 1990
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Illortaminni Mick Aruni/Copyright Agency
    Artist information
    Illortaminni Mick Aruni

    Works in the collection


  • About

    A male is depicted ready to take part in a Kulama ceremony. He is wearing a white cockatoo feather headpiece, armbands of jungle cane, an artificial (goose feather) beard and a goose feather neck ball.

    The painted facial and body designs are typical of Tiwi painted design, as applied also to the unique carved and painted grave poles and bark baskets.
    The calico loincloth is a post-European contact phenomenon. Formerly, Tiwi males wore no loin covering in their everyday life.

    The figure has been carved from bloodwood – a dense hardwood typically employed for the mortuary poles; it is from the latter that carved human figures have evolved. The ears and nose have been set in native beeswax.

    Harry Messel

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Melville Island

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Illortaminni Mick Aruni