Saturday, 27 August 2011

Land, Sea and Sky: Torres Strait Islander art exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane

Stumbled across these photos from a couple of months ago. Enjoy the limited amount of knowledge I can pass on about some of the pieces!

For those that don't know, the Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous peoples of the Torres Strait Isles which are situated between the North of Australia (closest to the cape of Queensland) and Papua New Guinea. The Torres Strait Islanders also lived in the cape region of Queensland, making them another indigenous people of Australia (they are genetically distinct from the Aboriginal people).

Ceremonial headdresses called Dhoeri or Dari, the most iconic and unifying symbol of TSI culture. The design  varies between tribes and between purposes. Headdresses were worn by warriors going into battle, warriors celebrating in victory ceremonies, islander dances etc.

Costumes representing the mischievous spirit, Alag. These costumes are donned during the Coming of the Light ceremony, which celebrates the arrival of Christian missionaries and the spreading of Christianity in the Darney Island region in the Torres Strait (circa 1871).
Performers dress in traditional pandanus masks and dried banana leaf capes to represent the Alag.
Depicting a Headhunter (Kuyku Garpathamai Mabaig) communicating with the spirits of his victims. Check out the bamboo beheading knife!

Feather shields worn in dances. The feathers represent the foam of the sea that radiates out from the central ocean scene.

Thanks for reading!  If you are interested, please check out these websites for some more information.,_sea_and_sky_contemporary_art_of_the_torres_strait_islands


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