This is a trial proof of an etching plate that was later editioned in another state. As such it is unique and eminently collectable.
Kusul are water containers made from coconut shells. They were sealed with a stopper usually made from coconut fibre which is called Muthai.
The Torres Strait Islanders travelled long distances at sea for trading and battle so it was essential that they carried a plentiful supply of water.
Two Kusul were joined by a fibre rope which was strung around the neck and tied at the waist when travelling on land where there was not a plentiful supply of water.
Like most utilitarian utensils of this nature they were carved with motifs such as the turtles and dugongs seen on the Kusul in the print.