Ken THAIDAY SNR
born 1950, Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait, Australia
Beizam (shark) dance mask
Thaiday is best known for his imaginative shark head-dresses. These dance masks represent an impressive and menacing symbol of law and order. The shark mask, worn by male dancers only, is traditionally associated with the Bomai-malu cult. The shark is represented by large jaws that hide the wearer’s face, the menacing teeth mitigated by rows of feathers attached to the jaws.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010