Mabo Day marks the anniversary of the High
Court’s decision regarding the Eddie Koiki Mabo case. He believed that the
Indigenous people of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands were entitled to
ownership of their land that they cared for. Mabo fought hard to demonstrate
that his people had a traditional land ownership system on his island Mer.
We celebrated Mabo Day by creating a
remake of a Torres Strait Islander headdress. The Meriam Mir word for headdress
is Dhari, the Dhari is a traditional dance and headdress for ceremony. It is
the central symbol on the Torres Strait Islander flag and symbolises unity of
all Torres Strait Islanders. The headdress is traditionally made using the
Frigate bird and Torres Strait pigeon feathers. Our Jarjums used feathers,
wool, raffia, paper and sequence to make their headdress.