Euan selects his favourite works from the stock room
21 AM 7917/11
George Nona Baywa Mineral Dhoeri (Waterspout Spiritual) 2010
Sea bird & cassowary feathers, pearl shell, cane, cowry shell, natural twine and pigments 450 x 400mm Mask,
740 x 990 x 70mm frame SOLD
There are many forms of Torres Strait headdresses. In the Western Islands these headdresses are called dhoeris.
Historically dhoeris were worn during ceremony, rituals and tribal wars, while today there are only worn by dancers on
The form of dhoeri I have created was once used during traditional ceremonies and war. I have constructed a dhoeri very
similar to the ones that were made in the past. This dhoeri was used throughout the Torres Strait, but mostly in the Western
The Baywa (Waterspout) is the main design in the centre of the dhoeri and the two winds Zey (South West Winds) Nay
Gay (North East Wind) When these winds happen that is when the ceremonies take place at the back of Western Islands.
This phenomenon, islanders relate to spiritually. This dhoeri expresses the waterspout and an overall facial structure of the
Baywa Maril (Water Spirit). Our belief is that when the Baywa approaches and moves across the sea and over the reefs, it
causes the waves to rise upwards. As this occurs, the Maril (Spirits) draw foods such as dhangal (dugong), warul (turtles),
warpil (many fish) and stingrays up through the spout as a sacrifice to serve the Baywa Kuyk (waterspout God).
Natural resources that surround us such as sea shells and natural pigments are used by the Dhoeri Aiyimay Mabaug
(Headdress Maker) to symbolise and express the sound of waves erupting, when iun motion during ceremonies.
The feathers are cut like fish tails, representing the fish that inhabit the waters around the islands that we hunt in daily. Cowry
shells were once a currency used by Torres Strait Islanders during the headhunting days. Cassowary feathers are
incorporated for totemic or spiritual reasons.
The full mai (pearl shell pendant) represents a fully initiated warrior. The mai is worn as a necklace with the shell positioned
on the chest. The cassowary feathers are used for totemic, decorative reasons.
The specific details of these dhoeris and rituals have been handed down orally through generations, referred to as Adhimin
Tiday (in parables). I cannot disclose the finer details and specific meanings behind this dhoeri for cultural reasons.