Jilamara body painting design
Jilamara body painting design

Pedro Wonaeamirri

1974 - Jilamara body painting design 2014
  • ochre on linen
75 cm x 150 cm

Pedro Wonaeamirri's artwork is steeped in Tiwi tradition. His paintings, based on pwoja - body painting and his carved Pukumani Poles are his link to the tradition and to the future of the Tiwi people. Tiwi art is derived from ceremonial body painting and the ornate decoration applied to Pukumani funerary poles, Yimawilini bark baskets, and associated ritual objects made for the Pukumani ceremony. Traditionally the deceased Tiwi people are buried on the day they pass away, but the Pukumani ceremonies are performed six months to several years after the death. Pedro Wonaeamirri is an active artist and long established member of Jilamara Arts and Crafts Aboriginal Association at Milikapiti, Melville Island, Northern Territory. His story suggests that he is a man many years older than his life experiences would imply. He is considered an ambassador for his Tiwi people. He has represented his people extensively at group exhibitions in most States of Australia and internationally.

Source: Jilamara Arts and Crafts, Melville Island, Tiwi Islands, NT

© Pedro Wonaeamirri and Jilamara Arts and Crafts, Melville Island

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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