91cm x 76cm
Barbara Reid Napangardi painted this stunning artwork with her daughter Suzie Reid Nangala, while Suzie was pregnant with her first daughter. Together, they depict a ceremonial site near Tjukurla, where Barbara was born and raised. Most works by this artistic family tell the story of the bushfoods collected by the women for the birthing ceremony. During this ceremony, the newborn baby is bathed in smoke from the camp fire, wherein the child is held near the fire and the smoke is fanned over them. The women are not permitted to watch the ceremony and are given the task of collecting the bush food while this is taking place. Only the baby’s mother, aunties and grandmother are obliged present. The women are then sent away to wait for the ceremony to finish. This is a very important and sacred ceremony, as this smoking ceremony wards off evil spirits from the nearby salt lake. Barbara tells us that if the ceremony is not performed the child will be stolen by the spirits and never seen again. Suzie gave birth to her daughter in Alice Springs, but the family travelled to this site soon after and the ceremony was performed, just as it has been for millennia.