Barracuta Garrka - Dugong Herd Leader by Dennis NonaBarracuta Garrka - Dugong Herd Leader by Dennis Nona
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Barracuta Garrka - Dugong Herd Leader

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This work refers to the tactics used by hunters to catch dugong for special celebrations. If a dugong hunter spears the Barracutau Garrka they are celebrated as a hero. The Barracutau Garrka is prized because it is the largest dugong and the leader of the herd. It also directs smaller dugong away from danger and towards safe reefs for feeding. Smaller dugongs are easier to catch because they can be drawn away from the herd by the hunter's whistle, imitative of the sound created by the Barracutau Garrka. When hunters create this familiar sound, the dugongs at the back of the group mistakenly turn around and head in the direction of the fishing boat. Gapu are also used in the hunt.These sucker-fish, connected to the fishing boat by a line, cling to the dugong until it tires. In this work gapu is stuck to the Barracutau Garrka. Three smaller dugongs are travelling with their leader, and several more are patterned in the background.

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Dennis Nona
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2006
Dimensions 14" x 20"
Materials & Edition Linocut edition of 45

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