RAINBOW SNAKE IN STYLIZED FORM
COLORS used in this artwork are derived from natural pigments of ground clay, black walnut, tea and wild berries along with blends of blues and purple.
BACKGROUND is flat white mixed with above colors.
TEXTURING is heavy and deeply embedded on the gypsum board producing a rock-like appearance. Images are carved heavily but still produce a delicate and graceful representation. Edges of prepared board are uneven and irregular in shape.
SIZE is 16” H x 14 ½”W
CULTURAL INSPIRATION: The first recorded evidence of this example of “Mimi Art” was in 1892 by the well-known explorer Joseph Bradshaw. This picture is of “Borlung”, from Deaf Adder Creek Valley in Arnhem Land. Borlung, or the “Rainbow Snake”, is at the left and is characterized with the head of a kangaroo, the body of a snake and the tail of a crocodile. Notice the small protuberances, a ritual adornment, on the upper part of the body. These adornments were often wild cotton or feather-down and referred to as “bulug”. To the right of Borlung is an anthropomorphised yam, referred to as “Yam-People. They are called this because they symbolize yams, a fleshy tuberous root and favorite bush food. Aborigines explain the body of the Yam-People as being the shoots of the plant representing human hair and the long roots are the bodies and limbs of the figures. Small lines protruding from them are the short roots of the yam. “Mimi Art” is almost exclusively done in tones of red ochre, which range from pale red to dark brown and almost black.