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Title

Pukumani grave posts

1958

Artists

Laurie Nelson Mungatopi

Australia

circa 1923 –

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Bob Apuatimi

Australia

1925 – 18 Apr 1976

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Jack Yarunga

Australia

circa 1910 – 1973

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Don Burakmadjua

Australia

1925 – 1995

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Charlie Kwangdini

Australia

circa 1905 – 1961

Language group: Tiwi, North region

Unknown

Australia

  • Details

    Alternative title
    Tutini (Pukumani grave posts)
    Place where the work was made
    Melville Island Northern Territory Australia
    Date
    1958
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    natural pigments on iron wood
    Dimensions
    274 x 250.0 x 250 cm overall :

    a - Tutini, 198.1 x 24.1 cm

    b - Tutini, 243.8 x 28 cm

    c - Tutini, 200.6 x 21.6 cm

    d - Tutini, 210.8 x 27.9 cm

    e - Tutini, 274.2 x 30.5 cm

    f - Tutini, 185.4 x 21.6 cm

    g - Tutini, 221 x 25.4 cm

    h - Tutini, 147.3 x 29.2 cm

    i - Tutini, 165.1 x 29.2 cm

    j - Tutini, 214.6 x 31.8 cm

    k - Tutini, 149.8 x 26.8 cm

    l - Tutini, 238.8 x 24.1 cm

    m - Tutini, 167.7 x 21.6 cm

    n - Tutini, 232.4 x 24.1 cm

    o - Tutini, 185.4 x 24.7 cm

    p - Tutini, 170.2 x 30.5 cm

    q - Tutini, 254 x 33 cm

    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
    Location
    20th & 21st c Australian art
    Accession number
    IA1.1959.a-q
    Copyright
    © The artists/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Laurie Nelson Mungatopi

    Works in the collection

    1

    Artist information
    Bob Apuatimi

    Works in the collection

    1

    Artist information
    Jack Yarunga

    Works in the collection

    1

    Artist information
    Don Burakmadjua

    Works in the collection

    1

    Artist information
    Charlie Kwangdini

    Works in the collection

    1

    Artist information
    Unknown

    Works in the collection

    1,094

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  • About

    In 1958 senior Tiwi artists at Milikapiti (Snake Bay) on Melville Island were commissioned by Dr Stuart Scougall and then Gallery deputy director Tony Tuckson to create 17 Tutuni or Pukumani graveposts. The first major commission of Aboriginal work by a gallery of modern art, this group of Tutuni broke new ground, establishing Aboriginal culture within an art context.

    Heralding a shift in tradition, the artists made the conscious choice to produce Tutuni for an outside audience. They employed traditional techniques of carving and painting, but made the sculptures from ironwood, rather than the traditional bloodwood, which is reserved for ceremonies.

    The Pukumani ceremony is unique to Tiwi. It is a 'final goodbye', with singing and dancing accompanying the placement of Tutuni around the gravesite. The first Pukumani ceremony was led by Tiwi ancestor Purukuparli for his baby, Jinani, who was the first person to die; as a result, today all Tiwi must follow his fate.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Melville Island

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 30 publications

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