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Gift Exchange
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The Meriam sailed in defined "sea pathways" for battle, or to exchange gifts, with their neighbours.

In doing so, they "showed the flag" and made a statement: "We are the Meriam people of these three islands, these reefs, and the seas belonging to our islands".

Their most precious gift was the cone-shell, which was crafted into an armlet.

As a talisman, it established and reinforced friendships between "cone-shell partners".

The Meriam exchanged these gifts for dugout canoes, made by people who lived on the coast of Papua New Guinea.

They also received bird of paradise and cassowary feathers, dogs' teeth necklaces, drums, and other valuables.

And, by voyaging to Cape York Peninsula and Australia's off-shore islands, they obtained red or white ochre, and emu feathers.
Shell friends
Text
1875-1905
Cambridge Anthropological Expedition, London Missionary Society, Malo, Papua New Guinea, sea routes, seafarers, trade
Adapted To Their Continent
Topic
 
Australia, First Fleet, indigenous people, land use
Sea Claims
Topic
 
Federal Government, Australia, fish traps, fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sacred, sea rights
In Meriam Waters
Topic
 
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sea rights, seafarers, Torres Strait
Something Deep Within Us
Topic
 
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, sacred, sea rights, seafarers