Ghee is a razor sharp knife made from bamboo that was used to pare the flesh away from a victim’s neck before beheading. Another implement called Upi made of fibre rope was used to dislocate the head from the body.
Skulls were the main trading currency used by the Torres Strait Islander people with their Papua New Guinean neighbours. These trading skulls were acquired in battle and through raiding parties to other islands and the Australian mainland. They were traded mainly for canoe hulls which could not be sourced on the islands. The skulls depicted in the print identify the purpose for which the knife was used. The stingray or Tupmul is the main totem on the artist’s island of Badu and places the knife as one belonging to that community.