At Arkai on the island of Mua (Banks Island) there once lived a man named Zangagudan and his two wives, Takamulai and Busiauwar. Every day they either searched for kutai and bua and mapet in the bush or fished on the reef. They used to cook their food in an amal (earth-oven). ‘Turtle fast time’ (the season of mating turtles) arrived and one day they saw a turtle pair (soulal) drifting outside in the sea. The two women urged their husband to try and bring in the female turtle, but Zangagudan who was not a strong man, protested that he could not do it alone. Zangagudan set out from Arkai and walked along the beach. Just beyond Mipa he called out: “Does anyone live here?” There was no reply. He called again: “Does anyone live here?” This time a voice answered from Tuta, not far away, and soon afterwards Karakarkula appeared. Karakarkula was a giant. He had ferns (karakar) all over his body. “What do you want?” he asked Zangagudon. So Zangagudon told him about the turtle and asked for his help in catching it and bringing it ashore. “Wait here,” said Karakarkula, and then he took a few strides, picked up the turtle and put it on his shoulder, and returned just as quickly as he had gone. Zangagudan was very happy. “We should cook this turtle straight away.” He said. An amal was made, Zangagudan cut the flesh from the shell and Karakarkula had been cutting up. Karakarkula felt sleepy. Do you mind if I have a rest?” He asked Zangagudan. “Not at all.” replied Zangagudan. Soon Karakarkula was snoring. Karakakula’s snoring sounded like the roaring of thunder. He was still snoring when the turtle was cooked. Zangagudan opened the amal and removed the best meat from the shell and hurried back with them past Mipa to his wives at Arkai. Takamulai and Buziauwar were very happy to see him return with the cooked turtle meat. “We had better eat it at once”, said Zangagudan. “Karakarkula will become very, very angry when he wakes from his sleep and finds I left only dry meat for him. He might come and look for us.” When Karakarkula woke up he realised that the amal was open and all that was left was dry meat. Zangagudan and his wives heard the thunder of giant footsteps, Zangagudan said to Takamulai: “Go out in to the sea. Busiauwar, walk along the beach and then go up to the sand hill. You’ll both be safe from Karakarkula if you do as I say. I myself will not move from this spot, but I shall bury myself into the ground. When Karakarkula reaches Arkai he’ll see none of us. Takamulai walked out into the sea and turned into a stone; Buziauwar walked to the sand hill and turned into stone. Zangagudan buried himself deep in the ground and turned into stone. Karakakula, finding no one at Arkai returned to his part of the island and he too turned into stone.

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Weight 0.75 kg
Dimensions 45 × 9 × 9 cm



Victor Motlop

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Moalgau Minneral Art Centre Moa Island (TSI)


Victor Motlop




Torres Strait Islands