Singlet top - Pukumani poles
Singlet top - Pukumani poles
Singlet top - Pukumani poles
Singlet top - Pukumani poles

Singlet top - Pukumani poles

Sale price $80.00 Regular price $120.00
  • Sleeveless top
  • Orange print on cream linen (non stretch)
  • Fabric hand screen printed in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands NT
  • Top made in Sydney

Artist and art centre

Bede Tungatalum was born at Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), Bathurst Island in 1952. His 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.

This 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.

Art story

Pukumani’ is a ceremony that occurs approximately six months after the deceased has been buried. This ceremony is regarded as one of the most important as it ensures that the ‘mobuditi’ (spirit of the dead) goes from the living world into the spirit world. Before the ceremony, in-laws are commissioned to carve tall totemic poles – Pukumani poles. These are placed around the burial site during the ceremony, and symbolise the status and prestige of the deceased. The Pukumani ceremony allows Tiwi full expression of their grief. It is a public ceremony and provides a forum for artistic expression through song, dance, sculpture and body painting.

Size and fit

Jess is 165cm tall, she wears s10 singlet (new version with no buttons down back). Rachana is 173cm tall – she wears size 8 singlet top.

6 8 10 12 14 16
bust 81.8 86.8 91.8 96.8 101.8 106.8
hem 78 83 88 93 98 103


Note: This top no longer has buttons down the back. Sizing is slightly different from the previous tops that did have buttons (now a slimmer fit so go up a size from the button top if you tried that on! - i.e. if you were an 8 with buttons, a 10 probably fits without buttons) 

 Treat me right

This design is printed on linen 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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