Walka mimiku – breast paint
Size: 76 x 122.5cm; acrylic on canvas
Catalogue Number: 26-21
?? has depicted the body designs applied to women’s breasts and limbs for what were once regular ceremonies conducted on country. She also mentions the story of the Seven Sisters dancing at Kuru ala – a scared sight for women south of Blackstone where young girls where introduced to womanhood.
The traditional linear patterns followed the curve lines of the women’s the breasts. The many lines represent the movement of the women as they dance during ceremony. After smearing their bodies with animal fat, they trace these designs onto their breasts, arms and thighs singing as each woman has a turn to be ‘painted up’. Then, often by firelight, they dance in formation accompanied by ritual singing. The songs relate to the Dreamtime stories of ancestral travel as well as plants, animals and natural forces.