Both the peoples of the Tiwi Islands and of the Yirrkala
in the Nhulunbuy
area are prodigious carvers. Birds play
a major role in both belief
systems. These are considered
messengers from the" other world."
Tiwi people carve
their birds from ironwood. It is both heavy and
limiting the amount of detail that can be achieved.
is compensated for by the very detailed
painting that decorates the
figure. Each tribe or clan
has a unique cross-hatch pattern that is
used to create
negative space and represent feathers.
of Nhulunbuy carve in soft woods
allow extensive incising.
The wood is much lighter.
A full section of the carving is painted
with a solid
color. Patterns are created by incising through the
color to the yellowish wood.
return to the Australian
Aboriginal Art Gallery
Fort Myers, FL. 33908
2002 - 2016
Art of the First Person