Betty Mpetyanne – Awelye


Betty Club Mpetyanne was born in Utopia, NT circa 1945. She is the daughter of renowned artist Minnie Pwerle.

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. Body paint designs in a painting is an indication that the women are preparing or performing a ceremony. Ceremonies to the Aboriginal people are like schools to Westerners. Each ceremony aims to teach the young, exchange and pass on ancestral knowledge between families.

Through their Awelye ceremonies, women pay homage to their ancestors, show respect for their country and dance out their collective maternal role within their community. A design based on these dancing tracks is painted on women’s bodies before a ceremony is performed, and this same design can be seen today in Betty’s works on canvas.




Betty Mpetyanne


129 x 86cm