Dhangal Um Aralk by Billy MissiDhangal Um Aralk by Billy Missi
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Dhangal Um Aralk

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The purpose of creating this picture is to show my concern about present hunting practises of dugongs in the Torres Strait. The Torres Strait region is considered to have the largest dugong population in the world. This is due to the fact that this region also has the most extensive sea grass beds in the world. In the past these areas were used by our forefathers to hunt only for special occasions such as initiation, or for health and healing purposes. Nowadays, I feel these wonderful and sacred creatures are under threat of extinction from over hunting as well as environmental factors, with the destruction of their environment. The symbol on the corners represent resources commonly found in these dugong feeding grounds. The ancestral beings on the top are traditional hunters. The figure with these hunters represents the reason hunting was performed, for,the sick and during initiation ceremonies. The six darts pointing towards the dugong, from either side at the bottom of the print, represents the over-hunting of dugong. The hunter on the right is searching in vain for the creature. The central figure depicts a younger generation of hunters confusingly asking older hunters why there are no dugongs to be found. Interweaving pathways represent dugongs travelling to various feeding grounds in the area. An unending arrow, on the bottom corner, shows the uncertain future of dugong sustainability. The rainbow means peace for dugong as they swim freely somewhere else. This print was highly commended at the 5th National Indigenous Art Awards held at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Billy Missi
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2000
Dimensions 20.9" x 29.9"
Materials & Edition Linocut Kaidaral edition 50

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