Maria-Josette Orsto Japajapunga: Tunga
- Medium:Natural Ochres on Bark
- Size:55 × 33 cm
- Region:Tiwi Islands
- Art Centre:Tiwi Design
Tunga's are made from stringybark bark, which can only be collected during the wet season when the bark is moist and flexible. The bark is cut using a chainsaw, stripped smooth with a knife and cured over a fire before being bent into shape and sewn up with a bush string stripped from the native hibiscus. The tunga is left to dry for a few days before being painted with locally gathered ochres. Tungas were an everyday necessity for Tiwi, used to carry food. When a Tiwi person dies the tunga is placed upturned on the pukumani pole (grave-post) signifying the end of life. The tunga is decorated with designs associated with Tiwi ceremonial body designs.Bark paintings do adapt to room temperature and humidity. Tiny hair cracks are inherent in the nature of the material.
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