Karum Au Ai - Goanna's Food by Dennis NonaKarum Au Ai - Goanna's Food by Dennis Nona
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Karum Au Ai - Goanna's Food

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Karum Au Ai in my language is what the goannas eat on Badu island. There are two different species of goanna on the Island. One is called Tamai. Tamai usually runs up the coconut trees and eats little insects and this one, the second species in language is called Karum which I made the title here, the Karum. Karum, it usually eats turtle eggs on the small island. Turtle eggs are a delicacy to Torres Strait Islanders and in the artwork, I feel sorry about the threat to the survival of these turtles because we over-hunt them nowadays and also everybody wants turtle eggs. In this artwork I wanted to make it about the future, about how we should think about the future. That’s what the work, Karum Au Ai is referring to – not only the goanna eats the turtle eggs, but we Islanders eat it, so it’s both human and lizard, and I think we have to take caution because in the olden days times, there were rules which in language is called ‘kwod’, like a Parliamentary house on each island there were courts are held and we had to take enough food and that was directed from the ‘kwod’. When turtle eggs or food like that are hunted they have to let the ‘kwod’ know how many eggs they got and that has to be shared with everyone and if you keep going you will be punished. There’s only a certain time to eat those turtle eggs. I just wanted to base the artwork on that.

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Dennis Nona
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2007
Dimensions 25 7/8" x 22 2/3"
Materials & Edition Linoprint edition of 45

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