Wakimab (State I)


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Wakimab was a witch doctor. He lived at Cargaar Point on Saibai Island near Papua New Guinea. Cargaar is a very good fishing ground and one needs to ask permission from Wakimab or he’ll get angry if you don’t and overturn your boat. Many lives have been lost there over the years. It is not good to go there alone. Here is how the story goes. Wakimab would invite young men to go fishing. It would take about an hour to travel to his beach. He would only invite them at the end of the day so they would have to spend the night, otherwise he would tell them the best fishing was very early in the morning and they should arrive the evening before so they wouldn’t have to travel in the night to get there. He built little huts outside the sandbank and insisted that the tide would never reach them. He was a very evil man and tricked young men into staying the night in those huts. He hid a club in his ornate witchdoctor’s hat and when it got dark the tide would rise up to those huts. The windows were barred and the young men could not escape him. Wakimab was also very big and powerful and when the water rose up high enough and the youngsters were up to their necks, he would open the door and bash them unconscious and cut their heads off with his bamboo knife (glee-tiad). He used the heads for magic, storing them in a field. He killed many groups of young men this way, time and again. One day a group set out to fish at Cargaar. With them was a sick man with boils and sores all over his body. The group chased him away but he followed from a distance, and, climbing a tall tree, watched until nightfall when he fell asleep. In the morning the silent stalker saw Wakimab stacking the heads of his friends beneath the very trees he had slept in. Horrified, when he finally had a chance, he crept down the tree and ran back to the village to raise the alarm. Warriors returned shortly and found Wakimab waiting for them. They hit him on the head, concussing him. Bleeding, he crawled into the sea, creating a long sandbank. He turned into a stone at the end of Cargaar Point. To this day, when Papua New Guinea fishermen arrive, unfamiliar with the area, their boats capsize where there are plenty of crocodiles and sharks.

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Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 65 × 9 × 9 cm

Linocut – Kaidaral


Dennis Nona

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Editions Tremblay NFP, Bungendore NSW


Theo Tremblay




Torres Strait Islands