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63 AM 8701/12
George Nona Koewbuw Dhoeri (War & Ceremonial Headdress) 2012
Feathers, pandanus twine, cassowary feathers approx, Frame 600 x 1000mm
45 x 67cm

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 ceremonial occasions.

I have constructed a dhoeri very similar to the ones that were made in the past. This particular dhoeri was once used during

traditional ceremonies and war.

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. Songs and dances connect this dhoeri to Torres Strait Islanders mentally, physically and spiritually.

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.

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