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Traditional Tiwi Culture placed special significance on the Pukumani (funeral) ceremony. Mourners are decorated using natural ochres to disguise themselves from the spirit of the deceased and song and dance is performed to honour the dead. Yirrinkiripwoja (bodypaint) is the source of many contemporary Tiwi designs and performance of the pukumani as ritual helps to reinvigorate the imagery. The shortening of the word to Pwoja - also refers to 'best'.
Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association is an indigenous owned art centre located in Milikapiti on Melville Island, which is one of the Tiwi Islands, 80 km to the north of Darwin. Artists at the centre have made a significant contribution to contemporary indigenous art in Australia since the association was established in 1989.
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