< Back

A Collection of Fine Old Tiwi Clubs Melville or Bathurst Islands Northern Territory Australia


Enquire About This Artworks >
Collection No. Tiwi Clubs Collection
Size Sizes 38cm to 44cm
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Collection of Five Fine Old Tiwi Clubs Melville or Bathurst Islands Northern Territory Australia Dating from the early 20th Century 

These very beautiful old Clubs, each carved from hardwood, and then finely ochre painted with clan designs.

According to the Tiwi & Indigenous Art Curator Judith Ryan ;

” The original inhabitants of Melville and Bathurst Islands, the Tiwi, have been separated from mainland Aboriginal peoples and from murrintawi (white people) for much of their history.

Evidence of Tiwi ingenuity, brought about in part by their geographical position, is found in their language, customary ceremonies, material culture, kinship system. The two principal cultural events for the Tiwi are the pukumani (mourning) and kulama (coming of age) ceremonies, both of which are unrestricted in relation to age and gender.

Tiwi art is intimately connected with song and dance and with jilamara, the idiosyncratic body painting designs with which performers celebrate kulama and conceal their identity from mapurtiti (spirits of the deceased) for pukumani ceremonies. The spirit of each work resides in the Tiwi notion of individual creativity, expressed through colour & patterns of lines, and the randomness of the decoration. For Tiwi people, to sing is to dance is to paint. A painted design on any surface has deep associations with singing and dancing and elements of Tiwi language and culture that are non-verbal “.

Each of these Clubs are beautiful and unique but together as group they truly look their finest.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea & Australian Aboriginal Art