Artist : MARIE MUDGEDELL
Title : Bush Baby Story
Size/Medium : 900 x 600mm: acrylic on linen Painting
Marie has depicted a birthing story from the old days. The right way for a baby to be born is this way. Birth was sacred. The mother and the women with the right skin – would go away from the main camp. They would make a windbreak (depicted by the three lines in the top right corner) for the mother and for the baby to be born. The baby is shown by the middle circle at the top of the painting, the mother is the long line next to the baby – she is lying down. The midwife is the U shape with a line in the middle and the two U shapes facing each other is a smoking ceremony used to cleanse the new born baby and protect it from sickness.
No man was allowed anywhere near where the baby was being born. The men went away from the main camp and made there own (shown by the rectangular shapes at the bottom of the painting), hunting for food, singing and dancing in preparation for the baby. The other women, with the wrong skin names for that new baby, would stay somewhere in the middle, not in the main camp, not with the birthing camp. They would look after the other children, and also go hunting for bush food. When the baby was born, after three weeks when the cord has come out, the women then bring the baby to the men’s camp in a coolamon.
Marie was born in the bush this way, when she was a young girl was witnessed this ceremony.