Enraeld (Djulabiyanna) MUNKARA, Purrukuparli the Ancestral hero and Waiyai Enlarge 1 /1

On display on Level 1

Enraeld (Djulabiyanna) MUNKARA

Tiwi people

Australia 1895 – 1965

Purrukuparli the Ancestral hero and Waiyai c.1955 Place made: Bathurst Island, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, natural earth pigments and natural fibre on ironwood

Dimensions: 60.0 h x 15.0 w x 14.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1985
Accession No: NGA 85.391

Enraeld Munkara was carving his expressive figurines at an eventful time on Bathurst Island. The long-term ban on ceremonial activity there was lifted precipitating a revival in ceremonial performance during the 1950s.[1] Interest in Tiwi art was also escalating, with visits from researchers and collectors like Stuart Scougall, Tony Tuckson and Dorothy Bennett who collected these sculptures around 1956. At this stage there were only a handful of practicing artists on Bathurst (Nguiu) and the adjacent community of Paru. Prominent among them were Cardo Kerinauia (c 1900 – c 1964) and Enraeld Munkara, who spearheaded the development of the small-figure carving movement that is now the mainstay of Tiwi art. While such figuration was rare at the time it did have a traditional precedent.

The incorporation of human heads into the conventionalised form of the Tiwi burial pole was first recorded in the 1930s, and by the 1950s small softwood figures were also occasionally placed on the grave during a Pukumani mortuary ceremony.[2] These statuettes represented the body of Purrukuparli who drowned himself in sorrow after the death of his baby son. Enraeld’s figures of Purrukuparli and his wife Waiyai are unique in the way they capture the abject grief of these bereaved ancestors with their hunched shoulders and numbed expressions. The vulnerability of the Waiyai carving is especially captivating, as it was due to her adultery with Purrukuparli’s brother Taparra that their baby son died of exposure. She turned into a curlew with its mournful cry after Purrukuparli decreed that humankind should become mortal and performed the first Pukumani burial ceremony.

Margie West

[1] The Catholic Church had banned ceremonial activity when it established Bathurst Island Mission in 1911, however ceremonies were often held in secret on Melville Island.

[2] Charles Mountford collected six small figurines in 1954 and recorded that this innovation was attributed to the Tawny Frogmouth ancestor who left a small carving of Purrukuparli on his gravesite during the first Pukumani ceremony. See C  P Mountford, The Tiwi, their art, myth and ceremony, Phoenix House, London, 1958, p 120.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010

恩雷尔德(朱拉比伊安纳)·芒卡拉 (Enraeld (Djulabiyanna) MUNKARA)
《祖先英雄普鲁库帕尔里和瓦伊埃》(Purrukuparli the Ancestral hero and Waiyai)
60.0(高) x 15.0(宽) x14.0(深) 厘米
收录号:NGA 85.391

恩雷尔德·芒卡拉雕刻富有表现力的小型摆件时恰逢巴瑟斯特岛(Bathurst Island)的多事之秋。岛上长期执行的仪式活动禁令被废除,促进了1950年代仪式表演活动的复兴[1]。对提维(Tiwi)艺术的兴趣与日俱增,1956年前后,像斯图尔特·斯高盖尔(Stuart Scougall)、托尼·塔克逊(Tony Tuckson)和桃乐茜·贝内特(Dorothy Bennett)一样的研究员和收藏家光顾海岛,收集这些雕塑作品。这一时期的巴瑟斯特(努尤)岛上和邻近的帕鲁(Paru)群落只有为数不多的执业艺术家。其中的佼佼者有卡尔多·克利诺亚(Cardo Kerinauia,约1900-约1964)和恩雷尔德·芒卡拉,他们引领了小摆件雕刻运动的发展,现已成为提维艺术的中流砥柱。尽管不乏传统先例,但当时的这种图案装饰法实属罕见。


Margie West

[1] 1911年天主教会建起巴瑟斯特岛布道所时,禁止仪式活动,但仪式活动常常在梅尔维尔岛(Melville Island)上秘密举行。
[2] 1954年,查尔斯·芒福德(Charles Mountford)收集了6个小摆件,并记载说这一创新归功于茶色蟆口鸱(Tawny Frogmouth)祖先,在第一次普库玛尼仪式期间,他把一个小型普鲁库帕尔里雕刻放在了他的墓地。参阅C P 芒福德,《提维人·他们的艺术、神话和仪式》,伦敦:凤凰之家出版社,1958年,第120页。

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra