216 x 513 cm
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ID: 13649 LOCATION: Bondi Beach
Image Size: 1335 mm x 4305 mm
Paper Size: 2160 mm x 5130 mm
Published: Brisbane, March 2008
Edition Size: 15
Printer: Dennis Nona, David Jones and Tadeusz Jacek Rybinski
Studio: Under The House Of Art Brisbane, QLDStory
Mutuk is a traditional legend unique to the artist's island of Badu.
It is a story about a man from the village of Argan who eventually came to grief as a result of his greed and refusal to share food with his fellow clansmen. In those times the customs and laws were very strict. All people were obliged to share with each other and most importantly with the members of the Kwod which was a group of highly respected men, made up of a chief and other clan leaders.
Every morning Mutuk would leave the safety of his tree house to go fishing, at a point near the reef where he usually caught an abundance of Snapper and other fish. Members of the Kwod heard about Mutuk's bountiful catch and were curious as to why he was not sharing with his neighbours. So they sent one of their members to his home to establish exactly how many fish he was catching.
Below Mutuk's tree house a huge pile of fish skeletons were found. These were taken back to the Kwod as evidence of his greed. It was decided that Mutuk's transgression should be punished, so the sorcerer members of the Kwod sang over the bones to cast a spell on him.
Soon after, when Mutuk was out fishing, a large Snapper flicked off his spear and slid down the rock towards the water. Mutuk jumped in to the water to retrieve the fish but was caught and swallowed by a huge Baler Shell shark (Alup Aw Baidam). The shark headed north, away from Badu in the direction of Boigu.
Becoming aware of Mutuk's absence, the sorcerers were satisfied that their spell had worked and began preparing for the funeral ceremony that would take place at Mutuk's village of Argan.
While Mutuk was inside the shark, he could tell by the temperature if it was swimming near the surface or in the depths of the sea. Because of the currents it was cold near the surface and warm down deep. When he experienced a long period of cold he realised the shark must be swimming on a reef.
Mutuk had been swallowed while he was