‘Adhaz Parw ngoedhe Buk’ means mask in Kala Lagaw Ya of the Maluiligal, Zenadh Kes (Language of the Torres Strait Islander people). My ancestors have always made masks from turtle shell. Masks were worn by certain people and dancers from different clans. Adhaz Parw means face of the outside or mask. Masks were worn to hide the identity of the dancer wearing it and used only during special occasions and sacred ceremonies. I have knowledge about these masks and their ceremonies but they are sacred and only discussed among the people of Mabuiag Island.
The mask I have created was inspired by the original Buk, adhaz pawr, from the island of my ancestors, Mabuiag. This Buk is currently held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This adhaz parw reminds me of the Naigai (north east, calm season) season of Zenadh Kes. Naigai comes before Kuki (north west, stormy weather). During Naigai, many birds are seen on the horizon of the sea showing signs of big fish feeding such as Dhubu (mackerel), Sibi (tuna), Gaigai (giant trevally), and Kabar (queen fish). Large Wawmer (the bird portrayed on top of the mask) are seen gliding way up in the open sky. Dances are performed to celebrate the coming of certain seasons. The Uruyaw Kab (bird dance) is common to the people Zenadh Kes.
In my culture, we believe that masks such as these protect our totems, clans and tribes.