Monday, April 2, 2012

Taphophile Tragics # 15


Pukumani poles mark the burial sites of the Tiwi people of the Bathurst and Melville Islands. They are erected at the beginning of a long funeral ceremony known as the Pukumani ceremony. These poles are on display at the Australian Museum in College Street, Sydney, and have been acquired over the years from the islands, which are part of the Northern Territory. Ranging in height from 100 cm to 250 cm, the poles are sculpted and painted with a mixture of natural ochres and brightly coloured synthetic pigments.They are also called funerary poles, grave posts or 'tutini' in the local Torres Strait Island language.

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Welcome to the 15th week of Taphophile Tragics.

Your contribution is most welcome. Please ensure that you include some details of the cemetery in which you took your photographs, and link directly to your post, rather than simply to your blog in general. Mr Linky opens at 10pm Monday, Sydney time (GMT+10). When you can, please visit the other contributing bloggers to show your appreciation of their endeavours. Due to time zone variations and overcrowded schedules, some contributions are made later than Tuesday/Wednesday.

I had a good experience with a different Linky over the weekend, so have changed Taphophile Tragics over to this new method. However, I have not implemented the 'random' facility, because, although fair, I found it tedious when trying to work out who to visit next. However, I am open to listening to your opinion on the topic of the Linky and its implementation.

20 comments:

JM said...

Julie, these are absolutely gorgeous! It's just the kind of stuff I would easily fall in love with. Are there replicas for sale? :-)))

diane b said...

I've seen these in our museum but didn't realise they were connected to burial sites. I need to read the plaques more carefully.

Red Nomad OZ said...

I'm fascinated by that area of OZ - probably because I've never been there and don't know much about it! Haven't had anything to post taphophilia-wise of late, but enjoy seeing what else is out there!

Francisca said...

The tutini are wonderful pieces of folk art! And how well preserved! Or are these replicas?

Gemma Wiseman said...

These are intriguing works of art, all with unique patterns! I read once a long time ago of decorative poles known as "singing poles" that were used to enchant the spirits in a time of death! The information was in a book, but can't seem to track down such information on the internet!

Mark said...

Thanks for your research last week I appreciated it.
When I was much younger these were my favourite things @ AGNSW. Whenever I went there I loved going down those big marble stairs and seeing them, it was such a contrast, the grandeur of European architecture and the simplicity of the funeral poles. They started my interest in Aboriginal art.
By your shot I think they may have moved from the 'basement'.

Julie said...

These poles were at the natural history Australian Museum in College Street, Mark. However, now that you mention it, I have seen other Pukumani poles at AGNSW. I am off down there in the next little while to take in the Archibald, so will try to suss the out.

Mark said...

Woops, got so excited to see them my memories got in the way.
This is a much better linky, I like being able to see the thumbnails.

Julie said...

Yes, I agree, Mark. Much more impressive visually.

Ann said...

I like this linky with the thumbnails. Don't like random, don't know what I've seen and what I haven't.

Deb said...

The poles are beautiful. Given the tradition of elaborate body art in your part of the world I wonder if the patterns on them are used only for the dead, or if they are also painted on the living in different circumstances?

NixBlog said...

Beautiful photo of these Pukumani poles, Julie.

Thank you for hosting. A hodge-podge from Melbourne General Cemetery from me this week.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Really like the new linky and with Ann I am not keen on random.

If these are associated with funerals are the aboriginal people happy for them to be in a museum?

Julie said...

In trying to answer the queries about the pole ... I have reread the signs associated. Each pole was acquired in 1981. Each pole is identified by its creator/sculptor, and where he came from, both location and tribe.

I take from this that the poles are all originals, and were NOT carved for a specific departed one, but are artistic examples.

Julie said...

Jose: I have not been able to find a source for artistic interpretations Pukumani poles which are currently for sale. However, on this site http://www.deutscherandhackett.com/node/13000220/

there are two sets of poles which sold in 2010. They may have more. I cannot find replicas for sale in either the Museum or the AG-NSW.

There are contact details on this site

http://www.tiwidesigns.com/

to enable you to go straight to the Tiwi people themselves to discuss further. It is supported by the Australian Government. Not guaranteed, mind you. Just supported.

Mama Zen said...

How beautiful!

Sondra said...

I am always fascinated by native arts and these are awesome!!!!

CaT said...

another grave post!
and late it is again...
from last week; you were right, it was named granary burial ground as it was next to a 12000 bushel grain storage building!
i must say, i always look forward to your comment. thank you!! (im tired right now and not good at writing something nice...)

VioletSky said...

these poles are really interesting looking. I will have to look up the links to learn more about them (when I am not so tired)
thanks for all the work you are doing hosting this - the thumbnails are nice, especially as an aid to remind which posts have been visited and (I like to return to certain ones to check on the later comments). random links would really confuse me.

Steffe said...

The Pukumani poles really are a work of art.