Awelye for Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard) by Nancy Kunoth Petyarre (SOLD)

Size: 210cm x 180cm
Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen

 

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The short parallel pines in this painting represent women’s ceremonial body paint designs(Awelye) for Mountain Devil Lizard (Arnkerrthe) Dreaming. The longer lines stretching across the other direction represent the tracks along the Arnkerrthe's journey, as well as it's thorny covered spine.

The Arnkerrthe is a gentle little lizard covered in thorns for protection and has the ability to camouflage itself by changing colours.

In the Dreamtime, it holds a sac of ochre in its neck. The women smear their bodies with animal fat then trace these linear patterns onto their breasts, arms and thighs with this ochre; singing as each woman takes her turn to be ‘painted–up’ for ceremony. The traditional colours used for this ceremony are ochre red, yellow and white.  

The women's songs relate to the ancestral travels of the Arnkerrthe as it makes the long journey north to Waramungu country. 

 

Name: Nancy Kunoth
Skin name: Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Country: Atnangkere
Region: Utopia, Central Australia
Born: c. 1934
Dec: 2009
Read Nancy Kunoth Petyarre's full bio »

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This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube.

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