Baby romper - Tiwi Bird
Baby romper - Tiwi Bird
Baby romper - Tiwi Bird

Baby romper - Tiwi Bird

Regular price $50.00
  • Baby romper featuring hand screenprinted panel 
  • black cotton on back
  • elastic legs and sides
  • three press-studs on straps for flexible fit
  • cross-over straps 

Design and artist

Bede Tungatalum first created this ‘Tiwi Bird’ motif in the 1970s; its first iteration was as a woodblock print, and it soon became incorporated into the Tiwi Design logo. The Tiwi Bird textile design was created in 1990.

Bede's country is Munupi, Melville Island, skin group Yarrinapinilia (Red Ochre). Bede learned carving from his father, the well-known sculptor Gabriel Tungatalum. While at school he was taught to cut woodblocks for printing, and his earliest prints date from the late 1960s. Bede established Tiwi Designs with Giovanni Tipungwuti in 1969 – to produce hand printed fabric that incorporates traditional Tiwi designs. 

Alan Kerinauia, Tiwi screen printer, explains, “The Tiwi Bird is a Jabiru - there’s lots of Jabirus around Tiwi Islands. The dots and lines around the bird are like Jilamara - a piece of art.

Each line, triangle and curve means something else - a thick line is a creek or river, a dot is a waterhole or a person, and a triangle with a dot can be a snake.” 

Art centre 

Bede’s design is hand screen printed at Tiwi Design, Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), on Bathurst Island (Tiwi Islands), 80km North of Darwin. Tiwi Design aims to promote, preserve and enrich Tiwi culture – it supports over 100 artists to do painting, wood sculptures, textiles, ceramics, pandanus weaving and printmaking. 

Tiwi Design started from a small room under Catholic Presbytery on Bathurst Island in 1968, with Bede Tungatalum and Giovanni Tipungwuti working with the school art teacher, Madeline Clear, to produce wood block prints. By 1969 Tiwi artists were transferring their designs onto silk screens, and textiles quickly became a major activity for Tiwi Designs artists.

Read more at: https://tiwidesigns.com/

Size and fit

Addy is 12 months; she wears size S in this picture. 

S.6-12 months 

M. 12-18 months

L. 18-24 months 

Treat me right

Design is printed on cotton with quality inks and then heat-set; designs are colourfast. Each metre of fabric is hand-printed and is unique - fabulous variations often occur!

Please treat your wearable art with love and care – we recommend cold hand wash, dry in shade, and reverse iron.


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