Minyma Tingari (Women of the Tingari), 2000
This work by Barbara is her Minyma Tingari (Women of the Tingari) and represents aspects of the secret and sacred Tingari Cycle, a spiritual amalgam that incorporates story, song and ceremony.
In this painting Barbara uses an individualistic style to represent a site known as Tjukurla, in the Gibson Desert, Western Australia. lt narrates the stories of the Tingari ancestors who travelled vast stretches of the country performing rituals, which in turn brought into being the land formations of particular sites.
The natural environment surrounding Tjukurla is dominated by expansive sandhills and rockholes containing water and a variety of bush foods. In this work Barbara depicts the Tingari women - represented by the U shapes, as they work near their ceremonial sites - the concentric circles. To protect themselves from the harsh desert winds the women have erected wind-breaks which are represented here by the linear patterned U shapes. One of the bush foods found in this area is the pintalypa or bush apple, which is a small green fruit with black seeds tasting similar to an apple - depicted here by the black ovals. It is one of the main fruits found at this site and only the green exterior is eaten as the seeds are poisonous. Below them are the features of this landscape: puli or rock formations, represented by the stratified, elongated U shapes. The symbols for puli or rock formations also relate back to the body paint worn by women during sacred ceremonies.
The events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret and sacred nature so no further details were given. Generally, the Tingari are a specific group of Dreaming ancestors who travelled vast stretches of the country, performing rituals which created the particular land formations of the various sites. The Tingari men were accompanied by novices and followed by the Tingari women. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in song cycles, which today are important aspects of the investiture teachings of the post initiatory youths as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.
Region: Western Desert
Barbara Napangarti Reid’s paintings are beautiful depictions of place, paintings of the lands to which she is custodian and the songs that explain them. Characteristic for Barbara is the depiction of puli – rock formations, and tuli – sand hills…