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Selina Numina

Selina
Numina

Biography

Selina Numina is a Kaytetye Artist from Utopia region. She is one of six well known desert artists: the Numina Sisters. She has three brothers, her dear father passed and her widow mum still paints and lives in Darwin. Selina went to primary school on Stirling Station near Tennant Creek. Selina as with her sisters and brothers were sent to boarding school in Darwin as no secondary schooling was available in Tennant Creek of Alice Springs. Selina currently resides in Darwin but regularly visits her Country. Like her sisters and mother she comes from a long line of desert painters of the contemporary Aboriginal art and dot-dot central desert movement.

The Numina Sisters were all taught to paint by their earlier elder painter grandmothers, mother-aunties, and cousin-sisters connected across the Central Desert region. Their mothers and grandmothers country is in the bush and remote Stirling Station.

The Bush Medicine Leaves Dreaming knowledge story is a popular theme of the Numina Sisters. Many women from the Peytre, Mambitji and Numina family name hold custody of the story and knowledge keepers of painting series-themes such as Bush Medicine Leaves, Bush Tucker, Seeded, Soakage, Women's Ceremony etc - in common with other skin groups across the vast arid creek beds and red sand of central Australia.

Subjects of importance in the theme-series painted are various bush tucker. Plant foods include wild berries, plums, onion, yam, seeds etc. Many animals can be depicted as food source or as totems such as Thorny Devil Lizard and Dingo Tracks. Women's Ceremony, Awelye Body Art Ceremony are mostly painted by senior ladies but younger women need to know it from a young age. These can be secret and or significant cultural ceremonies. Knowing, carrying and reinforcing these stories gives respect for Country and ancestors and shows responsibility and care of holding such stories to keep the stories and traditional practices alive. The knowledge must be retold repeatedly and handed on.

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