Tom Djawa

(Australia 1905 – 1980)

Community
Milingimbi, Arnhem region
Language group
Gupapuyngu, Arnhem region

Untitled (The High Totem - Birrkulda Ceremony)

Location
Not on display
Further information

Tom Djawa was a senior leader of the Gupapuyngu clan and was among the group of artists, including Binyinyuwuy and Lipundja, working at Milingimbi from the late 1940s. These artists were actively painting their culture with the support of the mission, producing small jewel like bark paintings and some sculptural forms.
'Untitled (The High Totem - Birrkulda Ceremony)' is a unique work by Djawa, distinguished by it's larger scale and complex composition. The works refers to the Birrkulda (honey) ceremony, with the figures and objects seen in the work adorned with the diamond design synonymous with Birrkulda. The diamond cross-hatching depict the cells of the honey comb, and the cross hatching the wax.

Place of origin
Milingimbi, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural origin
Gupapuyngu
Year
circa 1960
Media
Bark painting
Medium
natural pigments on bark
Dimensions
157.0 x 65.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2013
Accession number
262.2013
Copyright
© Tom Djawa/Bula'bula Arts. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney