Malo, Ian Kaddy

Maloby Ian Kaddy

Malo is one of the most fearful pagan gods of Murray Island you could ever face. Malo became the central figure of a religion which embraces the people of Mer, Dauar, and Wier except for those who were not Meriam through the male line of descent. The worship of Malo would spread to the other eastern islands Ugar, Stephen Island and Erub, Darnley Island. The story Malo tells of how he came to the Eastern Islands. Malo had three brothers, Sigar, Sui, and Kolka. Each of them chose to settle south of Murray Island. Sigar settled at Iama, Yam Island, Sui settled at Masig, Yorke Island and Kolka settled at Aurid. Malo came to Mer, Murray Island. You couldn’t separate Malo from the shadowy, terrifying Bomai. No one but fully initiated members of the cult knew that worshiping Malo also meant worship of Malo-Bomai. The uninitiated did not know the secret name, Bomai. They did not know the whole nature of the agud, God, which had come to Mer in the form of an octopus, only believing that obedience to Malo guaranteed peace and protection.
For an example:
• “Ma nole Maloi disrir” meaning Don’t bare your teeth against Malo.
• “Ma nole op mer detager” meaning never ever speak against Malo.
• “Ma nole Malo I teter u itur” meaning don’t kick – offend Malo.
They might’ve been normal words but little they did not know that behind it lies a threat: “Bomai will strike.” Bomai’s men “the sharks of the forest called the Beizam boai (shark kin) men whose original agud, god, was the shark.”

50 x 78 cm

$550.00 inc. GST

9 in stock

About the artist

Ian is from Murray Island in the Torres Strait and now is a resident of Townsville. He is a founding member of Murris in ink printmakers and has participated in master classes at Umbrella since 2008. His carvings are narratives of creation legends that were told to him by his father, Uncles and Grandfather. These stories are continued to be passed down the male line from father to son. His lino print was included in Compact Prints 2008 at Umbrella Studio.

Ian’s work is featured throughout the Holiday Inn Townsville. He participated in Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in 2009 and 2010, with Ngapi Kai Kai, a folio of 11 linocut prints by 7 Indigenous artists. This work toured Queensland and New South Wales for two years.

His work is in permanent and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Queensland State Library and the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery.

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