Object Advanced Search : "Torres Strait Islander Collection"

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Registration Number E5929
Name or Title Mask
Production Place Torres Strait/Queensland/Australia
Production Date Pre 1898
State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE11465
Classification CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander head ornament
Name or Title Dance Headdress - Aircraft
Production Place Australia
Production Date 01 Jan 1988-31 Dec 1988
History and Use

This dance headdress was made by James Eseli, a Torres Strait Islander.

Dance is the most visible expression of Torres Strait Islander culture. It is a serious activity, offering prestige and standing. Dance is one part of a story. Sometimes, stories can take days to tell.

Torres Strait Island dance, Ailan Dans, is energetic, and derived from traditional ceremonial dance and Pacific Island dance introduced by South Sea Islander mission teachers.

New dance songs continue to be composed and older songs are updated with new choreography. Today, most dances are performed at community events, cultural festivals such as the Coming of The Light, or at the dedication of tombstones.

This object can be viewed in Dandiiri Maiwar, on level 4 of the Queensland Museum Southbank.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE4673.1
Name or Title Mat
Production Place Australia
Production Date Sep 1915
History and Use

This mat has been woven from strips of pandanus leaves. Mats like this are very durable and can be folded for storage and during transport. They are also water resistant, and can be used to sit or to sleep on.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE12725
Classification CH classification
Name or Title Dance Headdress - Dhari
Production Place Australia
Production Date 2001
History and Use

This Dhari was made by a member of the Torres Strait Islander community living in Brisbane. Large pockets of Torres Strait Islander communities can be found along the Queensland coast.

The Dhari is the distinctive traditional dance and ceremonial headdress of the Torres Strait. It is the central motif on the region's flag and symbolises the identity and unity of all Torres Strait Islanders.

Dhari is the Meriam Mir word for 'headdress' and is used in the eastern islands. In the central and western islands where Kala Lagaw Ya is spoken, the headdress is called Dhoeri. Customarily worn and made by males, dhari designs vary from island to island.

Dharis/Dhoeris were traditionally made from Frigate Bird and Torres Strait Pigeon feathers but are now made from a wide and often creative range of materials including heavy cardboard, plywood, chicken feathers and cane.

When wearing dharis at night for performances, the dancers shake their heads to vibrate the spokes, causing a brilliant shimmering effect, described as being like the glint of a pearl shell dropped in water.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE11493
Classification CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ceremonial object
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander head ornament
Name or Title Dance headdress - Gainau (pigeon)
Production Place Torres Strait/Queensland/Australia
Production Date 01 Jan 1989-01 May 1989
History and Use

This is a Gainau (pigeon) dance headdress from the Boigu Island in the Torres Strait. String, attached to both wing tips, is pulled on by the dancer to imitate flight.

Dance is the most visible expression of Torres Strait Islander culture. It is a serious activity, offering prestige and standing.

Torres Strait Island dance, Ailan Dans, is energetic, and derived from traditional ceremonial dance and Pacific Island dance introduced by South Sea Islander mission teachers. Themes often imitate daily domestic activity and reflect island, maritime and celestial environments.

New dance songs continue to be composed and older songs are updated with new choreography. Today, most dances are performed at community events, cultural festivals such as the Coming of The Light, or at the dedication of tombstones.

This object can be viewed in Dandiiri Maiwar, on level 4 of the Queensland Museum Southbank.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE11495
Name or Title Dance Headdress - Dhari
Production Place Australia
Production Date 01 Jan 1988-31 Dec 1988
History and Use

The Dhari is the distinctive traditional dance and ceremonial headdress of the Torres Strait. It is the central motif on the region's flag and symbolises the identity and unity of all Torres Strait Islanders.

Dhari is the Meriam Mir word for 'headdress' and is used in the eastern islands. In the central and western islands where Kala Lagaw Ya is spoken, the headdress is called Dhoeri. Customarily worn and made by males, dhari designs vary from island to island.

Dharis/Dhoeris were traditionally made from Frigate Bird and Torres Strait Pigeon feathers but are now made from a wide and often creative range of materials including heavy cardboard, plywood, chicken feathers and cane.

When wearing dharis at night for performances, the dancers shake their heads to vibrate the spokes, causing a brilliant shimmering effect, described as being like the glint of a pearl shell dropped in water.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE11560
Name or Title Fish scoop - Weres
Production Place Australia
Production Date 1990
History and Use

This fish scoop is similar to those used to catch schools of sardine. Some Torres Strait Islander people use fish scoops in art and dance to tell stories. This fish scoop was made by a Torres Strait Islander living in the Mackay region. A number of Torres Strait Islander communities live in coastal Queensland.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE4673.2
Name or Title Mat binding strip
Production Place Australia
Production Date Sep 1915
History and Use

This strip of pandanus leaf is used to tie a rolled mat for storage or transport. It was made in Australia by a person from Masig (Yorke) Island in the Torres Strait, and donated to the Queensland Museum in 1915 by Edward B Connolly, who was a teacher on Masig at the time.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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Registration Number QE11690
Name or Title Fan
History and Use

This Torres Strait Island fan is made from woven strips of coconut fronds. Woven items like fans, bowls and mats are commonly seen at church, and during celebrations. Although not a popular choice by early collectors, woven items like fans have become more common in Torres Strait Islander collections in cultural institutions. Early collectors - who were predominantly male - tended to miss the significance and versatility of the skillsets involved in weaving, and the contribution of this to everyday life.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

State/Province Queensland
Queensland
Country Australia
Australia
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