Artist Cynthia Burke
Title Piti
Year 2022

Itara River Red Gum

Dimensions 89 × 34.5 × 27.3 cm
Art Centre Maruku Arts →

Out of stock

Cynthia Burke

Cynthia Burke was born in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and now spends her time between Warakurna and Irrunytju (Wingellina) communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of Western Australia. Her creative and arts practice covers a broad range of disciplines. Cynthia began working with Tjanpi Desert Weavers in Warakurna in 2016 and worked across eight communities to support Tjanpi artists and their art making. Cynthia is also an internationally exhibited painter with Warakurna Artists and also works with Maruku Arts where she is a Director and the most prominent emerging wood carver.

Artist statement

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. 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 was made of spun hair and emu feathers or coiled grasses. This piti has a very unusual shape and has been designed in a more contemporary form with a handle.