This is an Indigenous dance mask, entitled 'Beizam Shark Headdress with Bait Fish', made of plywood, wire, feathers and shark's teeth by Ken Thaiday of Cairns, Queensland in 1995.
The shark is a symbol of law on Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. Ken's masks help to tell stories about his culture. Shark masks were once used in sacred ceremonies but are today used in public dances. The shark's jaws move up and down and the fish can go into its mouth.
Contemporary Indigenous music encompasses influences ranging from traditional to country to hip-hop, creating the distinctive sounds that we hear today. From universal themes about life and relationships to specific issues such as unemployment, land rights and the stolen generations, Aboriginal music communicates a message to everyone.