The myth of Tagai tells of a man setting out on a canoe voyage with his twelve-man crew, six Usiam (the Pleiades) and six Seg (Orion), who eat the food and water prepared for the voyage. So Tagai strings each group together and throws them into the sea, and their images are set in a pattern of stars.
Tagai is the sea hero of all Torres Strait Islanders, but the myth belongs to a sub-clan at a site on Dauar. The star constellation of Tagai gives signs for voyaging, for turtle-mating time, a time for garden preparation. By portraying bad behaviour offers a moral code: the Meriam must not take what belongs to others. Meriam people must share.
Keywords: Dauar, Meriam culture, Meriam history, Stars of Tagai, Tagai, Torres Strait
Image: Cover art, Nonie Sharp 1993, 'Stars of Tagai: The Torres Strait Islanders', Aboriginal Studies Press, based upon a watercolour by Lieut.G.Tobin, Mitchell Library, and drawings of the Tagai Constellation by Gizu and Mariget of Mabuiag.