A Pair of Tutini natural earth pigments on carved ironwood Heights: 90cm and 83.5cm
PROVENANCE: Executed on Bathurst or Melville Islands circa 1960 Collected in Darwin in the late 1960s Private collection
Cf. For larger examples of seventeen tutini from the same period in the collection of the Art gallery of New South Wales see Hetti Perkins, Tradition Today: Indigenous Art in Australia, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004, p.12 and Wally Caruana, Aboriginal Art, World of Art Series, London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003, p.88, fig.70.
Tutini carved from ironwood and painted for Tiwi Pukumani ceremony are used to mark the grave site of the deceased. The designs are painted to represent characteristics of the individual and the greater number of burial poles indicates the significance of the person. Historically, smaller tutini were produced for rituals although from the 1950s onwards they began to be made for the market.