The artist :
Robert Woods is tjilpi Yarnangu, a senior Aboriginal man from the Western Desert area of Australia. He is a prolific and highly skilled carver of traditional tools whose work is currently travelling with Punuku Tjukurpa, an Artback NT National Touring Exhibition from the Maruku Collection.
His skills have been passed on through the Tjukurpa, the Law and way of life governing his country.
He was born in 1945 and is from Mantamaru (Jameson).
Known collectively as punu, the carvings of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have their beginnings in the Tjukurpa when the Creation Ancestors fashioned the first weapons and tools, setting down the laws and conventions of their design.
The Central and Western Desert kali or boomerang is a non-returning one and usually crafted from wanari, mulga wood. It is used for hunting and fighting and in pairs as a percussive instrument for inma or ceremony. Size and shape differ according to the individual craftsman.
“Watingku pungkula tjilpirpungkula kutjarara irira, ayi – mira mira wirura mulapa.” Anangu wati tjilpi
‘A man strikes and splits the wood in two, trims it back, exclaiming with pride – paying close attention to his expert crafting.’ Senior Aboriginal man