#121 Mimi Spirits - EDDIE BLITNER : Aboriginal Art : 61 x 101cm
ARTIST: Eddie Blitner
REGION: Katherine, N.T.
TRIBE: Marra - Borroloola
TITLE: Mimi Spirits
MEDIUM: Painting - acrylic on canvas
There are rock paintings of Mimi Spirits in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia that date back as far as 50,000 years ago.
In the Dreamtime Mimi Spirits were small human like beings, with thin elongated bodies. They were so thin and light a strong wind could blow them over, so they usually spent most of their time living in the rock crevices of the Escarpments.
The Mimi Spirits tamed the land animals, caring for them like pets. It is not unusual for a Mimi painting to depict them with their pet.
The Mimi’s taught the Aboriginal people laws and customs along with many practical skills like, hunting, how to prepare meat, how to control fire and how to paint.
It is said that they did the first rock paintings which taught Aboriginal people their painting skills.
Without a written language, painting was the only way in which the history and religion of the tribe could be passed down, thereby ensuring that future generations would know of the deeds of these Ancestral Beings who walked the earth in the beginning of time.
Eddie grew up on Victoria River Downs Cattle Station in the Northern Territory along with other families including the Wavehill boys.
Like many of the Indigenous men on the cattle stations, Eddie become a hardworking stockman on Vic Station, also helping his Grandfather at Beswick Station.
Whilst helping at Beswick Station his Grandfather Fred Blitner showed him the artefacts that the old men done and how they painted on bark. Eddie was keen to learn and started to help the old men. His cousin David Blanazi helped teach Eddie the old men ways and the stories.