Awely – Bush Women


The women’s ceremonies are focal points in the life of the community and are integral to the happiness and well being of the people. They gather together and sing and dance led by the most senior women of the clan group. It is at these ceremonial gatherings that the women, especially the younger ones, are taught the tribal dreamings or rules of life by the Elders.

The women paint ceremonial designs on the top half of their body using a variety of powders, ground from charcoal and yellow and red ochre. The body paint designs vary from ceremony to ceremony and depend on the subject and the time of year the ceremony is held. Different symbols are painted on the body and may vary from person to person depending on the seniority of each member.

Annie Pitjara Hunter’s works of art are representations of these body and ceremonial adornments.


  • The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth

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