Betty Kuntiwa Pumani


Born: 1963 near Perentie Bore, SA
Language: Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara
Lives: Mimili, South Austrralia
Region: Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands



Betty was born in the bush near Perentie Bore about 30 kms from Mimili Community. Her mother is Kunmanara (Milatjari) Pumani (dec) and her father is Sam Pumani (dec). Sam’s country is near Watarru on the APY Lands. Betty’s grandparents on Milatjari’s side are King Everard (Nyapi) and her grandmother was Mantjangka Everard. Betty has three brothers, Ken, Luey, Apada, and a sister, Ngupulya. They all live in Mimili. Betty is married to Litja Brown from Mimili and they have two children together, Marina and Max. Betty worked at the Mimili store then at the Mimili clinic as a ngangkari healer. Later she was a teacher at Mimili Anangu School. She began painting at Mimili Maku Art Center in 2007. Betty’s paintings depict her mother’s country Antara, a ceremonial site in north-west of Mimili community.

Antara country that protects Maku tjukurpa is beautiful. It is surrounded by waterholes, sandhills and rocky mountains which Anangu still visit today.  Betty regularly paints her mother's country that surrounds Antara. This place and its significant maku (witchetty grub) tjukurpa were a constant in the paintings of her mother, the late Kunmanara (Milatjari) Pumani. Today, Betty and her older sister Ngupulya Pumani are proud custodians of this country; they map its significance and hold its stories strong in their paintings. Betty has developed a hybrid style of traditional iconography and figurative, a painterly language which is fresh and lively. 


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
The Corrigan Collection of Aboriginal Art
ArtBank Collection, Australian Government Art Rental
Kaplan and Levi Collection, Seattle, USA
Art international institution, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht
Martha Hesse Dolan and Robert E. Dolan Collection, USA


2017 Winner, Wynne Prize
2016 Winner, NATSIAA 2016 Telstra General Painting Award
2015 Winner, NATSIAA 2016 Telstra General Painting Award