Dennis Nona Margul Urab 2009
Etching 580 x 435mm
The title of this print describes a healthy coconut that is full of milk and flesh.
There is a custom that was practiced in the Torres Strait Islands that guaranteed coconuts would mature on the tree to produce this prized fruit.
The tree produces prong like stems from which the coconuts grow. Before the fruit starts to form a person would scale the tree and thrust turtle eggs onto these prongs thereby guaranteeing that they would develop to yield abundant milk and good eating flesh.
This is no longer practiced but the artist does recall in the early 80s helping his father undertake this ritual on the family’s coconut grove on Badu Island.
There are two main species of coconuts on the island, Kewes, which stands not much higher than a person and Katatul Urabal that grows up to fifteen metres high.
The print depicts the turtle egg on the prongs prior to the formation of the coconut fruit.