Rock-art from the Mabuyag Islands, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait)

Liam Michael Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Since 1898 a total of 17 rock-art sites comprising 125 determinate images have been recorded from the Mabuyag Islands (Pulu and Mabuyag) by several groups of researchers, including anthropologist A.C. Haddon, and more recently, archaeologists working in collaboration with the Goemulgal Kod. This paper provides an overview of the sites and motifs recorded and examines their role in understanding aspects of Goemulgaw social expression. Using a combination of formal and informed methods, this paper reveals how specific motifs display links to Islander mythology and ceremonial activity, while also acting as markers of interregional interaction across Torres Strait, southwestern Papua New Guinea, and Cape York. This analysis also reveals that much like rock-art from Western and Central Torres Strait, motifs from the Mabuyag Islands cross from fixed to portable mediums - an important observation used to better understand the nature of the Torres Strait graphic system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497 - 530
Number of pages34
JournalQueensland Museum. Memoirs. Cultural Heritage Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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