Toby Cedar • Headress (Dari) 2019

artist statement


These four Daris represent the four tribes of Erub Island (my cultural homeland) where we still proudly use this sacred object today. The Dari originated from Mer (Murray) Island but was also used in the eastern Island Ugar Erub. My Mer Island Grandad Koiki Mabo was a very traditional man, and so I have been inspired to celebrate the culture he so loved.

····· Toby Cedar


····· artist bio

Toby Cedar is a proud Torres Strait Island man born in Dampier, Western Australia, in 1978 who now resides in Townsville, North Queensland. His bloodlines being from both Eastern and Western Islands of the Torres Strait.

He comes from the Peiudu tribe Erub (Darnley Island) with his lubabat (totem) being Waumer (frigate bird), Beizam (shark), Deumer (Torres Strait pigeon) and wind identity — Koki (North West). And Samsep–Meriam tribe Mer (Murray Island) his lubabat are Korseimer (moth), Deumer (Torres Strait pigeon), Beizam (tiger shark), Sap (driftwood) and wind identity — Sager (southeast) from his father’s side. His parents moved to mainland Australia from the islands, like many Torres Strait people, for work on the railway, which took them to Western Australia.

Cedar felt as though, growing up Western Australia, he was always surrounded by his Torres Strait culture, with a large family and community around him. He was taught the importance of his culture by his elders who passed down to him traditional ways, practices and protocols. Dance is very important in Torres Strait Culture. Cedar dances regularly, including traditional Eastern Island dances and new dances choreographed and written by Cedar and his father. The artist has works in many collections, including those of the Australian Navy, Cairns Regional Gallery, NGV and the National Gallery of Australia, as well as private collections.

Toby Cedar Headdress (Dari) 2019 Bamboo cane, twine, feathers, pearl shell, kulup bean 65 x 45cm each

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