Tingari Cycle – Rockholes and Malliera (2001)
At the site of Nyinmi, west of Jupiter Well in the Gibson Desert, the artist depicts the subject of the Tingari Cycle. It was here during the Dreaming when a group of Tingari men gathered in underground caves for ceremonies.
In this painting the three concentric circles with white and yellow ochre dotted spirals represent rockholes and underground caves, which are both natural formations found in this area. The abutting U-shapes associated with both of the above denote ceremonial body designs worn by the young initiated men, either those of ritual scarification or body paint.
Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret and sacred nature no further details were given. Generally, the Tingari are a group of spirit beings of the Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari women and accompanied by novices. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These mythologies form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.