Kaiwai - Barnacle by Dennis NonaKaiwai - Barnacle by Dennis Nona
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Kaiwai - Barnacle

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"It's called Kaiwai in our language. This work is an etching. Kaiwai - it's a barnacle, a soft barnacle, not a shell one. It's just like a rubber, it creeps on the rocks and it's got little lumps. It's found under the rocks on the shore, along the shore. If you touch it or pick it up it releases saliva, like soap or something. In the afternoon in the old days, when it's Ziba Zib time (when the sun is almost gone), the ladies would take their little babies down to the rocks. They take the Kaiwai, it's like this cake, and they rub it under the baby's underbelly. In our language it's called Ngdalai, it's the underbelly of the babies, male and female, and that saliva is there. They rub it and when it dries, 10 minutes, tonight the babies won't piss until tomorrow morning. It's soft and looks very white. The ladies know where to find them. Sometimes they get some and they go and put it back on the rock and it will stay there for them." - Dennis Nona

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Dennis Nona
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2006
Dimensions 27 1/2" x 39 1/3"
Materials & Edition Etching edition of 45

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