Saturday, April 24, 2010
KELLY - Aboriginal Awelye (Women's Ceremony) Art
Awelye refers to women's ceremonies associated with women's business and also refers to the painting of designs on a women's body. This spiritual, sensuous and meditative performance reflects the nurturing role of women in Aboriginal society.
Awelye is the Anmatyerre word for women's ceremonies. Awelye also refers specifically to the designs applied to a women's body as part of a ceremony.
The Awelye is performed by Aboriginal women to recall their ancestors, to show respect for their country and to demonstrate their responsibility for the wellbeing of their community.
The women’s ceremony is kept separate to the man’s ceremony, though each one is equally as important.
The body paint designs would vary from ceremony to ceremony and would depend on the subject and the time of year the ceremony is held. Different symbols are painted on the body and may vary from person to person depending on the seniority of each member.
The designs are painted on the chest and shoulders using powders ground from yellow and red ochre, charcoal and ash. It is applied with a flat stick with padding or with fingers in raw linear and curved lines. This is a meditative and sensual experience.
The act of decorating the body transforms the individual and changes their identity. During the painting which can take up to three hours, the women chant their Dreaming. The final part of the ceremony is when the women dance and chant.
Aboriginal Art Online
Female Indigenous Artists
National Gallery of Australia
Aboriginal Art Store
Utopia and Papunya Contemporary Aboriginal Art