Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that the following pages may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

Four tribes

Roslyn Orsto

ochre and acrylic on canvas

92cm x 43cm x 5cm


The skin group, or “yiminga” of a Tiwi is matrilineal; it is inherited from the mother and determines the marriage line. The word “yiminga”, means skin-group, totem, life, spirit, breath and pulse. There are four skin groups, namely; “wantarringuwi” ( sun),”Miyartiwi” (pandanus),”Marntimapila” (stone), “Takaringuwi” (mullet),Each of these has many sub groups.The skin-group into which Tiwi is born determines who they may, and may not marry.

Ref: TDRO2




Tiwi Designs Aboriginal Corporation

Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation was incorporated in 1980 and is one of the longest established Indigenous art centres in Australia. However, the beginnings of Tiwi Design emerged in 1969 when two young men, Bede Tungatalum and Giovanni Tipungwuti began carving into wood blocks and printing onto textiles. These young men became known as the first Indigenous screen-printers in Australia and began a tradition that continues today at Tiwi Design.

‘Bima Figures’ Maria Josette Orsto 2020

More Artworks from Tiwi Designs Aboriginal Corporation

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