Patrick Freddy Puruntatameri
"Tokwampini" - The Bird
Ironwood with Natural Ochres
Cat # 146-11
Tokwampini was the messenger in the pukumani mythology, it as he who told Purukaparli that his wife Bima had committed adultery with her brother-in-law Taparra. This event lead to the mortality of the Tiwi people, the first death, the first funeral pukumani. Tokwampini became a jabiru (native crane), but tokwampini is a common Tiwi name for bird. Birds were humans long ago.
When Purukuparli said "I will have a big ceremony for my son" the birds heard. There were pelicans, owls and all sorts of birds. One of the birds spoke to Purukuparli and said " If you are having ceremony, we will give you feathers for your headband, armbands and goose featherball to decorate yourself so youwon't be recognised by the spirit of the dead."