Indigenous Canvas Painting - Purukapali and Wai-ai

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TITLE: Purukapali and Wai-ai


Region: Purukapali and Wai-ai

Language: Tiwi

Medium: Natural ochre on canvas

Dimensions: W72cm x H72cm

Stretched on frame: NO

Biography: Wai-ai (Bima) was the wife of Purukaparli. While gathering bush tucker Wai-ai was enticed into the trees to make love with her brother-in-law, Taparra. She left her baby son Jinani in the shade, but was away for so long that he perished from heatstroke. Her husband, enraged and devastated, fought Taparra, who flew away and became the moon. Wai-ai became the curlew bird, forever crying out her grief in the dusk. Purukaparli, was the first Tiwi to perform the pukumani (funeral) ceremony (for his deceased son.

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