Dennis Nona Dokeran 2009
Etching 970x495mm image, 1200x800mm paper
Dokeran is one of the ancient legends belonging to the people of Badu Island.
It is the story of a man who catches a turtle and travels around the shores of the island, finally manifesting himself as a rocky outcrop that can be seen on the island today.
It is Dokeran’s indecisiveness about where he is to butcher the turtle that takes him to many beaches and places that are known to today’s inhabitants of Badu.
Dokeran lived on the south side of Badu at a place called Yaza. Yaza is the place where another legendary figure, Bia, created one of the island’s sacred sites.
Dokeran caught a turtle using a Gapu or suckerfish which was one of the traditional ways of hunting turtle and dugong. The Gapu is depicted on the back of the turtle at the bottom of the print.
Dokeran carried the turtle along to Delabibi and several other beaches in the tribal area of Argan. He then walked to Womar then on to Gaubul, Dugorr, Kotaid, Kotinab and Sesseraen Gagait, the place of another traditional story which was the subject of the artist’s first large scale linocut.
At each place Dokeran visited he contemplated butchering the turtle but always changed his mind.
He finally butchered the turtle at Mayan Kula before returning to Yaza. At Yasar, Dokeran was transformed into two large rocks that can be seen on the hillside at the place called Dokeran Kakurr.
Dokeran is seen in the print carrying the turtle on his head and looking behind him which is an expression of his indecisiveness.