Tiwi Sculpture Pukumani pole
Aboriginal axe from Arnhem Land
Object type: Pukumani pole
Locality: Tiwi Islands Northern Territory Australia
Circa: Late 1960 early 1970’s
Length: 152 cm
This delightful Pukumani pole is made from Ironwood and is a lovely combination of Pukumani pole with Bima in the form of a Curlew bird on the top.
Purukupali was the first man on earth and while he was away hunting his wife Bima was seduced by Purukapali’s younger brother Tapara. While making love to his brother she left her baby under a tree and he baby died when the hot sun shifted and the baby was no longer in the shade. When he returned Purukupali in his grief walked into the sea with his dead son and disappeared forever. Bima became a curlew (bird). This first death was the cause of the first Pukumani (burial) ceremony.