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Article: Dugong


In the halls of museums across the globe, our traditional artifacts whisper tales of the rich culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities far away.


One of those artifacts - the Dangal (dugong) charm - inspired us on a creative journey of reclamation and repatriation. The result, our beautiful Dugong Necklace featuring a dugong charm, echoing the spirit of a cultural inheritance longing to return home. 

Our BROSISCUS Dugong Necklace is fashioned from a charm used in the Torres Strait Islands to bring good luck in dugong-hunting. One of the original charms was taken from Tudu Island in 1888, but similar charms were traditionally used throughout the Torres Strait Islands.

Fuelled by a deep love of a cultural heritage that belongs to us, we sought to transform the narrative of our communities ‘artifacts’ into one of empowerment and reclaiming identity. For us, the Dugong Necklace is a bridge between this valuable piece of tradition and our community connecting with and cultivating our cultural roots. In the recreation of this traditional charm as jewellery, we aim to repatriate, nurture and educate by bringing our cultural symbols and stories back to the people.

This necklace serves as a tangible link to the past and a way to honour the resilience of our communities whose cultural treasures are scattered across the globe. By wearing a gold dugong necklace, wearers become active participants in the ongoing journey of revival and survival. The charm, intricately designed and rich in symbolism, embodies not just a marine mammal but a statement of cultural continuity and strength.

You can see it at the British Museum and Australian Museum here:

Learn more about the charm, its history and meaning to Torres Strait Island people. Listen to Ned David talk specifically about the charm and its meaning here:

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