The Torres Strait Islander dari is said to have its origins as a sacred votive object used to bless the bow of the war canoe belonging to ancestral brothers Kos and Abob while they attempted to apprehend Saiid, a strong and mischievous sorcerer from Kiwai Island. Originating from the easternmost islands of Darnley and Mer through celebration and trade patterns, each island group created their own intricate designs.
Long ago, a strong and mischievous sorcerer from Kiwai Island called Saiid came to Mer Island where the Meriams befriended him. He brought many strange exotic food plants including the Neis Kirim Kirim Kaba, a banana species that can have 2 bunches of fruit at one time. Whilst Saiid was at Mer he liked to chase after Meriam women and one day abducted Kudar, the mother of Kos and Abob.
Saaid shrunk down Kudar to fit inside his magic basket called buzil epei, then hopped into his canoe and set sail back to Kiwai Island. Kudar cried for him to release her but Saiid would not. Soon after, Kudar peered out through the holes on the magic basket and yelled to her abductor “Saiid! Look towards Mer, you thought I have no sons, here they come, they are better seamen than you, see how their canoe’s bow cuts into the waves dari dari.” Saiid had the powers to change himself into a waumer (frigate bird) in order to escape the fury of Kos and Abob. This he did by plucking a long magic waumer feather from his magic basket immediately changing into a waumer. As he soared up, the brothers Kos and Abob just managed to knock out some of his centre tail feathers with their nagnag lu (bird knock down stick). This is why today frigate birds have “V” shaped tail feathers.
As Saiid soared up into the sky with his basket, Kudar suddenly broke free and fell from the basket, which had lost strength from the great amount of tears she cried. The brothers saw their mother fall from the sky and then turn into a tiny reef called Aum Kep, near Mer Island. The brothers chased Saaid to Erub Island and then to Ugar Island where they wounded him at a place called Mamered (meaning where blood was spilled). This time Saiid became even more furious with the two brothers and directed a powerful magic against them turning them into two prism-shaped black stones, to be seen at Mamered in Ugar Island until this very day.
Saiid flew back to Kiwai Island to be with his wife Sagaro, living on top of a very tall tree house at a place called Aisa. Saiid eventually died from his wounds and is buried at a place called Huu Huu O in the Kiwai Islands.
as told by Kapua Gutchen (Snr)
Meuram Tribe, Erub Island