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Paris november 1983: 12 Lajamanu men dancing Jurntu purlapa / 12 Lajamanu men in Paris invited by the Festival d'Automne / Barbara Glowczewski / Paris: Theatre of Peter Brook called Bouffes du nord

 


ABORIGINAL ART
RITUAL PERFORMANCE AND THE WORLD MARKET

From Dream Trackers. Yapa Art and Knowledge in the Australian Desert, CD-ROM (B. Glowczewski, UNESCO 2000)


 


Red and yellow ochre, white gypsum, black charcoal four natural pigments are used to paint on the body, on the ground and on sacred objects according to the Central Australian and Western Desert tradition.

Warlpiri women's body painting, singing and dancing are called yawulyu. There are as many yawulyu as there are different Dreamings celebrated, that is, for all plants, animals or other totemic Ancestral Beings, such as the Rain people or the Fire people. New yawulyu can be dreamt; they are a message from the Dreaming Ancestors.

Women paint sacred objects that they use in their rituals. Some can be shown in public, others cannot. Men's sacred objects cannot be shown. Many museums in the world are now withdrawing the objects from public view. Some have given them back to their original Aboriginal custodians. This electronic document shows only women's painted boards, yukurrukurru, which may be seen in public.

In 1983, twelve Warlpiri men from Lajamanu were invited to perform in Paris at Peter Brook's Theatre, the Bouffes du Nord, and to make a ground painting at the Museum of Modern Art. It was a huge success. They chose to dance the Jurntu Purlapa, a corroboree that was dreamed by a senior woman in the early 1960s about the Fire Dreaming and a message from three rain-makers. The ground painting also related to Jurntu, the place of Fire, but it represented the Pirntina python Ancestor.

A ton of sand was brought to the Museum and the twelve painters spent a week working inside the room without any witnesses. It was their ritual men's business that non-initiated people cannot see. They sang for the opening and the public was allowed to view the masterpiece for a month. After that period the Warlpiri requested that it be destroyed. It was a most impressive sight, measuring ten metres long.

Traditional men's paintings are made away from women's eyes and erased at the end of the ritual. For some specific ceremonies, like rain-making, the women are allowed to see the men's designs. The women draw on the ground for some Dreamings, like the Yurrampi (Honey Ant). They use the iconic codes as a mode of story-telling for Dreamings or for everyday stories drawn in the sand.

In the mid 1970s some Warlpiri and Pintupi men in Papunya started to paint boards with house paint. The interest of buyers led them to develop their art on canvas with acrylic paints. In the early 1980s the paintings hit the modern art market as the Papunya dot painting movement. Men and women from other communities followed Papunya with the same popularity — Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Balgo-Wirrimanu. These canvas paintings can now be found at very high prices in all the major art galleries of the world.

Each community has developed its own art co-operative to deal with the national and international market. A percentage of the sales is kept by the co-operative to buy canvases and paints for the artists. At Lajamanu people started to paint on canvas in 1985, and the Warnayaka Art Centre was created in 1991. The community has since covered most public buildings with a fantastic display of Dreamings or totemic designs.
(see set 752)



 


 

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Archives de chercheurs: Barbara Glowczewski [Collection(s) 28]
Paris november 1983: 12 Lajamanu men dancing Jurntu purlapa [Set(s) 823]
Meta data
Object(s) ID 84829
Permanent URI https://www.odsas.net/object/84829
Title/Description12 Lajamanu men in Paris invited by the Festival d'Automne
Author(s)Barbara Glowczewski
Year/PeriodNovember 1983
LocationParis: Theatre of Peter Brook called Bouffes du nord
Coordinateslat -35.27 / long 149.08

Language(s)English
Copyright Barbara Glowczewski
Rank 3 / 3
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Filesize 902 Kb | 2600 x 1843 | 8 bits | image/jpeg
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Quote this document Glowczewski, Barbara November 1983 [accessed: 2019/9/23]. "12 Lajamanu men in Paris invited by the Festival d'Automne" (Object Id: 84829). In Paris november 1983: 12 Lajamanu men dancing Jurntu purlapa. ODSAS: https://www.odsas.net/object/84829.
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Author(s) Doris Lewis Nakamarra
Date 2012-08-25/0000-00-00
Maurice (Morris) Luther Jupurrurla, Ronnie Jakmarra Lawson, singing Jurntu Purlapa with other Warlpiri men dancing: Dick Raymond Japaljarri, Jimmy Robertson Jampijinpa, Abie Jangala, Joe Long Jangala, Thomas Jangala Samson, Bobby Payton Japaljarri, Bob Leo Japaljarri
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