ngelina paints the story of the Atham-areny. The site for this story belongs to the hilly country near Willowra on Angelina’s traditional country north east of Alice Springs.
Atham-areny comes from the Anmatyerre words atham (meaning no fire) and areny (meaning belonging to).
“Akely-amperl arrkay-renem atham-areny-rnem. Ahernel anewaneyel akely-akely”
The atham-areny are very little spirits of the country. They are colourless and live in the ground [or places] where the fire does not belong.
They can be known to come out of their homes and steal and hide babies, or cause mischief. It is important that people stay by the fire. If the atham-areny touches you, you will feel sick. This painting depicts a practice that falls into the supernatural realm of bush medicine where women are called upon by a nangara (traditional healer or witch doctor) to sing and dance together to help heal someone touched by Atham-areny. Other ancestor spirits, ones that watch over the land and protect the people, are invoked during the process to assist.
Angelina fills the background space with linear body paint designs.
Name: Angelina Ngale (Pwerle)
Skin name: Ngale
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
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