Issue 4
Monday, 03 June 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks and Tiwi Elders Eymard Tungatulum and Marius Puruntatameri at the unveiling of the Tiwi Pukamani Poles
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks and Tiwi Elders Eymard Tungatulum and Marius Puruntatameri at the unveiling of the Tiwi Pukamani Poles

Tiwi, Larrakia cultures unite at special ceremony

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

A Larrakia smoking ceremony and the unveiling of a special gift from the Tiwi people took place at an event on Casuarina campus last week.

Three Tiwi Pukamani Poles have been carefully restored and prominently positioned at the courtyard of Blue Building 2.

The poles, carved from ironwood tree trunks, have great spiritual significance within the Tiwi culture and are decorated to celebrate a person’s life and spiritual passage when they die.

The poles were carved and painted by Tiwi Elder and former student Eymard Tungatulum in the 1990s. Staff from the Office of Indigenous Leadership worked with Mr Tungatulum and Ms Anne Hanning on consulting the Tiwi people on the poles’ restoration and relocation.

Larrakia people held a smoking ceremony to cleanse and welcome the poles on to their country, allowing their ancestral spirits to be aware of their presence and ward off negative spirits.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said it was a privilege to bring this project to fruition and he said he took responsibility for keeping the poles and their story strong and safe.