Ngaw Kukuwam - The Lovers by Dennis NonaNgaw Kukuwam - The Lovers by Dennis Nona
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Ngaw Kukuwam - The Lovers

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The girl in this story is from a remote Matuan village in Papua New Guinea called Bora. She moved to the area around Port Moresby while her lover was away. She sent him a message to let him know she was pregnant. Sadly, he was unable to go to her and he couldn’t afford to send for her. He wished he could be with her at this time and was hoping for a baby boy, as it would be his first born. In this print, the pregnant girl is seen sitting on a Lakatoi (a typical canoe in central New Guinea) wearing a mask representing a fish. She told her lover that she wished she was a fish so she could travel to him. From the end of the canoe a rope connects them. The rope is made of hibiscus flowers which represents the connection of love between them. The boy is seen at the bottom of the print. He wishes he was a bird or fish so he could fly or swim to her. His mask shows the stars and moon. The symbol above his head is a face mask representing confusion and uncertainty. He holds a traditional cooking pot from her area. The pot contains food which symbolises richness and wealth. His feet are the flying feet of the spirit. The crocodile represents crossing over and the face at the bottom, her lover crying for want of him in her dreams. There are two faces along the rope leading from the cooking pot. These represent her parents who are very upset and angry at their daughter for becoming pregnant before the boy was formally introduced.

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Dennis Nona
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 1992
Dimensions 29.9" x 22"
Materials & Edition Linocut Kaidaral edition 75

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