Betty Club Mbitjana paints the tradition of Awelye Body Paint Designs that was closely identified with her mother, the great Utopia artist Minnie Pwerle.
She also paints “Bush Melon” as seen above and below
The old women still paint the ceremonial designs on their breasts, first with their fingers, and then with a brush called a typale, made from a stick. They paint with red and white ochres. Then they dance, showing their legs – the old women dance with a ceremonial stick in the earth. The ancestral spirits of the country gave women’s ceremonies to the old women.
Betty’s paintings depict the designs that the women would paint on their bodies, and the dancing tracks which are made in the sand during women’s (awelye) ceremony.
Betty Mpetyane learned the ceremonies and songs growing up on the Utopia homelands with her extended family and kinship group. Betty rose to prominence in the years after her mother passed away in 2006, taking up the mantle and carrying the Awelye story forward. Betty Mpetyane
lives at Alparra Community on the Utopia homelands.