Artist: Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri Sculpture size: 32(h)cm Medium: Natural ochres on ironwood Price: $410 Authenticity certificate provided upon sale
Tokwampini, the Bird
Tokwampini was the messenger in the pukumani mythology, it as he who told Purukaparli that his wife Bima had committed adultery with her brother-in-law Taparra. This event lead to the mortality of the Tiwi people, the first death, the first funeral pukumani.
Tokwampini became a jabiru (native crane), but tokwampini is a common Tiwi name for bird. Birds were humans long ago. When Purukuparli said “I will have a big ceremony for my son” the birds heard. There were pelicans, owls and all sorts of birds. One of the birds spoke to Purukuparli and said “If you are having ceremony, we will give you feathers for your headband, armbands and goose featherball to decorate yourself so you won’t be recognised by the spirit of the dead.”