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© Billy John McFarlane Missi/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

Gainau au Kubi (Flock of Torres Strait Pigeons)

Date: 2008
Dimensions:
Overall: 670 x 1010 mm
Medium: Linocut printed in black ink, hand coloured
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Billy John McFarlane Missi
Classification:Art
Object Name: Linocut
Object No: 00049226
Place Manufactured:Cairns
Related Place:Western, Torres Strait, Cape York Peninsula,

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    Description
    This linocut by Billy Missi is titled 'Gainau au Kubi' (Flock of Torres Strait Pigeons) and is printed in black ink from one block and then hand coloured. It depicts a particular seasonal timeframe as told by the sighting of these birds. Torres Strait Islander people observe seasonal and maritime changes throughout the year, which provide valuable knowledge about when to expect, as well as how to interact with, certain animals at particular times of the year.
    SignificanceThrough his artwork Billy Missi expresses the importance of his cultural heritage and kinships and demonstrates how this, in the form of the knowledges and stories shared in Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) culture, has sustained his people to survive for many, many generations in the Torres Strait. This linocut shows the significance of certain animals such as birds, turtles and sharks in everyday Torres Strait Islander culture.

    HistoryArtist's statement:

    In Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) since time immemorial, seasonal timeframes were
    always told by sightings of animals, birds, changes in vegetation, tides, rains and the constellations.

    This image is about Gainau (Torres Strait pigeons) crossing over from Papua New
    Guinea’s Western Province, South to Cape York’s East and West coasts.

    When these sightings occur, it indicates to our people that the Soalal (turtle mating) season is on, and the sharks are carrying eggs. It is when they are very vicious and touchy.

    This knowledge as been handed down orally from generation to generation by our
    forefathers.

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