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BIRTH OF A MIMI.
The old man says the mimi's were little people a very long time ago and they turned into rock spirits called Mimi's. These people had big ceremonies and before they turned into spirits lived as Aborigines lived who came after them, they gave birth the same way, hunted, danced and so on. The old man says that some of the very old ceremonies are remembered in parts now, and many cave paintings were done by these little people, that is the very old ones, so old that even old Yirawala does not know the meaning of some of them, and his father before him did not know some of them.
In all his drawings of secret ceremonies Yirawala includes the MIMI's who he says began these ceremonies.
(I think this bears further investigation before such men as Yirawala are dead) (typed label on reverse of 2007.0053.0955).
A bark painting worked with ochres on bark. It depicts five female Mimi figures one of whom is giving birth to a baby. The figures are painted in brown and white on a white background.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.
The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.
W 217mm x H 475mm x D 25mm
Artist's country mouth of Liverpool River
ATSIC branch office