Mimi Spirits are tall and slender like the fine-leafed fan palm (Livistona inermis), which grows in Arnhem Land. The Mimi live in the escarpment amongst the rocks, their necks are so thin that they would break if they left their rock shelters in a strong wind. They have excellent eyesight and hearing, when they detect people they enter the rocks via cracks or magic openings.
When people move through the stone country they call out to the Mimi to let them know who they are. Their pets are the animals that live in their stone country like rock wallabies and rock possum but they will hunt the wild versions of these animals. They also eat the fruits of pandanus, bush potato and other bush foods.
The Mimi taught Aboriginal people many skills like how to hunt, prepare animals to eat and they composed songs and dances for ceremony. They are also thought to have painted the first images of people and animals on the rock shelters, especially the paintings that are high up in the rocks out of the reach of people. The Mimi can also enter the artist’s dreams to tell them what to paint
This etching is the result of a printmaking workshop with Melbourne based printmaker Andrew Sinclair. Andrew has travelled to Injalak Arts in western Arnhem since 2009 working with artists including Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO (dec), Graham Badari, Solomon Girrabul, Ezariah Kelly, Wilfred Nawirridj, Bruce Nabegeyo and Terrence Nabegeyo.