• Artwork:Coolamon
  • Artist:Maruku Arts
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Coolamonby Maruku Arts

The Piti or wooden bowl is a woman’s traditional carrying vessel for food and water. Together with a wana or mulga wood digging stick and a wira, a smaller version of the Piti used to scoop soil or ladle water, it was used by women hunting for witchetty grubs, honey ants or small burrowing animals and their eggs. After loosening the soil with a wana it was shovelled aside from the hole with the wira and the bounty carried home in the Piti. (Nowadays a crow bar, a short handled shovel and a billy can are the women’s hunting tools). The Piti was also used for carrying an immense variety of other desert seeds and fruits. A manguri or head-ring, was used to cushion the bowl as the women carried it on their heads to collect food and water. It is made of spun hair and emu feathers or coiled grasses.

  • Artist:Maruku Arts
  • Title:Coolamon
  • ID:MA012
  • Medium:Mulga Wood
  • Size:30 x 27 cm Ø
  • Region:Uluru, Central Australia


Maruku Arts is a large and successful Aboriginal Australian-owned and -operated enterprise, run by Anangu (people of the Western and Central Deserts of Australia) since about 1990. It has a warehouse based in Mutitjulu community (at the eastern end of the rock), a retail gallery at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Cultural Centre, as well as a market stall in Yulara town square. Its artwork consists mainly of paintings and woodcarvings. With about 900 artists in the collective, it provides an important source of income living in remote communities across central Australia. It seeks to "keep culture strong and alive, for future generations of artists, and to make culture accessible in an authentic way to those that seek a more in-depth understanding"

Maruku is one of ten Indigenous-owned and -governed enterprises that go to make up the APY Art Centre Collective, established in 2013. In June 2020, Salon Art Projects, in association with Maruku, mounted an exhibition called "PUNU – Living Wood" at the Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin. The exhibition included hand-carved kali (boomerangs), wana (digging sticks), Piti, wiras and mimpus (bowls) and a range of walka boards (designs burnt, painted and etched onto plywood), with work by artists including Niningka Lewis, Cynthia Burke and Fred Grant.  Punu is a Pitjantjatjara word meaning "living wood"

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