BOATS, CROCODILE ANCESTORS AND MERMAID MYTHS IN THE ART AND CRAFT OF TIMOR-LESTE – TAASA Review December 2008
Joanna Barrkman S everal works currently on display in the exhibition Husi Bei Ala Timor Sira Nia Liman From the Hands of Our Ancestors, co-presented by the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin and the National Directorate of Culture, Timor-Leste, illustrate the significance of water in Timor-Leste’s cultural expression.
These works, from the National Collection of Timor-Leste and from the collection of the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, provide insight into the art of Australia’s nearest Asian neighbor. The seas surrounding Timor-Leste are named tassi feto the feminine, calm sea to the north of the island and tassi mane the masculine, wild sea to the south.
These seas define the physical world of the Timor-Leste people and reflect their conceptualisation of the dualistic nature of existence that underpins traditional Timorese societies...