Piki by Dennis NonaPiki by Dennis Nona
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In past times, men would carry out a special ritual to contact ancestral spirits. Before retiring to bed a man would rub his head and the kuik (skulls) of deceased ancestors with sweet-smelling jarr and matuau leaves. This rite would induce piki (a dream) in which he might seek protection, or ask for guidance on important issues such as dispute settlement, hunting strategies or battle plans. In this image, the dreamer is sleeping on a tupmul (stingray), which indicates that he belongs to the tupmul augadal (stingray clan). Behind his head is the skull of an ancestor, most likely that of one of his deceased parents. Although human skulls were sometimes objects of exchange, the skulls of one's own parents and of revered warriors were never traded.

Artwork Information

Location Australia
Region Torres Strait
Artist Dennis Nona
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2009
Dimensions 31.25" x 47.25"
Materials & Edition Etching Edition 45

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