A Large Pukumani Basket (Tunga), Bathurst or Melville Islands natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark bound with pandanus twine 79 x 41cm
PROVENANCE: Executed on Bathurst or Melville Islands in the late 1950s Collection of the late Harry Christian Giese AM MBE, Darwin
Cf. For related examples see Wally Caruana, Aboriginal Art, World of Art Series, London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003, pp.88-89 and Sandra Le Brun Holmes, The Goddess and the Moon Man: The Sacred Art of the Tiwi Aborigines, Sydney: Craftsman House, 1995, p.93.
The Tunga are painted for Pukumani ceremony to be placed on top of the burial poles or at the base of the graves. They represent a close relationship between the maker and the deceased and in some instances are used to symbolise the individual who has passed away.