Paddy Henry Ripijingimpi Tiwi totem carving to headline Aboriginal art sale

A Paddy Henry (Teeampi) Ripijingimpi Tiwi totem carving will headline Bonhams' Aboriginal Bark Paintings and Sculpture sale in Sydney on November 24.

Ripijingimpi Tiwi totem
The totem features representations of
Tiwi ancestors

The work carries an estimate of $9,500-14,250. Ripijingimpi (1925-1999) was a renowned Aboriginal sculptor best known for his totem carvings.

The sculpture represents Tokwampini, the White Pelican, who stands above Purukuparli - a major ancestor of the Tiwi tribe.

An unattributed Pukumani funeral pole carries an identical valuation.

It was carved on the Bathurst or Melville islands of the Northern Territory, and would have been used in Tiwi burial ceremonies.

The posts traditionally feature geometric patterns along with depictions of spirits and ancestors, and are placed around gravesites.

The top of the pole features a representation of the White Pelican, while the two uprights in the centre refer to the clubs used in a fight between two mythological brothers, Bima and Tapara.

Tiwi art differs from that of the people of nearby Arnhem Land in its vibrant colour and emphasis on pattern.

Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek's Mimih Spirits Dancing carries a valuation of $7,600-11,400.

Nadjamerrek (1926-2009) was a painter from Western Arnhem Land whose work has been widely exhibited throughout Australia.

His bark paintings were first exhibited in 1975, and he later participated in over 30 exhibitions of Aboriginal art.

In 2004 he was awarded the Order of Australia.

Nadjamerrek was widely considered a national treasure, and his work features in a number of high profile museums.   

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