Thikibilla (Echidna), Creation animal, 'Dancing with the ancestors', 2020
Renate Rienmueller, Silver gelatin (fibre based) photographic print, 27 cm x 21.5 cm (framed size 39.5 cm x 32.5 cm).
“The echidna, or Thikibilla in my mother's language (Wiradjuri, NSW) is a creation animal that helped to form the landscape and propagate the earth/ground. In dance, we represent the echidna by stomping on the ground...it gives us energy and powers us up, connects us to the earth and heals us. We kick up the dirt and make dust, with small movement of the feet because the echidna is close to the ground and they rock from side to side. We hold our hands above our head with fingers spread, signifying the quills of that echidna. The movement in this image captures this dance with the ancestors, and in indigenous culture we believe that the ancestors are animal-spirits, just like the Thikibilla (Echidna). Dancing with the ancestors is a way to connect and pay our respects and gratitude to them as the creators of the earth that we live on today and have done for hundreds of thousands of years.”