Kulba yadail (old lyrics), Billy Missi, 2006. Edition of 90. Published by KickArts, printed by Theo Tremblay.
Billy Missi, 1970- 2012
Tribe: Wagedagam, Gumu, Panai
Totem: Kodal, Kaigas, Dhanghal
Language: Kala Lagaw Ya
Language Block: Western Torres Strait
Story: "In our culture, the stories and other knowledge of our world have always been handed down orally from generation to generation since time immemorial. It is this knowledge that provides guidance. From the boys' perspective, it is their uncles, fathers and sometimes grandfathers who teach them this knowledge. This plays a big role later in life. Kulba Yadail teaches us to read the stars, the moon and the sea.
This image symbolises Kulba Yadail that describes our environment, our culture and also our identity.
The piece is divided into three parts: the constellations of the stars, the land and the four seasons of the Torres Strait.
There are important Zugubal (star constellations) that move through the sky and are intimately connected top the four seasons. One of the most important Zugubal is the Baidam (shark) which is closely observed in the Western Torres Straits as a signal for changes in the tides, wind and seasons. The four seasons are represented as Sager (south-east trade winds), Gabu Thornar (winter), Naigai (the calm Northerly wind before monsoon) and Kuki (the monsoon). The relationship between the stars and the seasons determines when we can cultivate, hunt and harvest the food from the sea and land.
The swaying pattern that runs diagonally from the top left to the bottom right symbolizes all of this complex knowledge, that is known as Kulba Yadail."