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Pearl Fishers & Their Times
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Murray Islanders have maintained contact with other Torres Strait islanders, Aboriginal Australians and Papuan New Guineans since ancient times.

Their marine technology was sophisticated; they obtained sea-going canoes from the New Guinea coast and fitted them with double outriggers.

The Meriam also dived for pearl shell and fashioned it into both ornamental and functional objects.

However, from the 1840's on, the allure of beche-de-mer, trochus, and most of all, the golden-lip mother-of-pearl, brought a host of newcomers to the Torres Strait.

These people weren't interested in gift exchanges: there was money to be made and new opportunities to exploit, in the competitive world of nineteenth century capitalist expansion.
Exile
Topic
1953-1957
activism, exile, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Mer, Mer, Murray Island, Murray Island Council, pearling industry, Torres Strait
Pearl Shell Ornaments
Text
 
pearling industry, shells, Torres Strait
Pincatada Maxima
Text
1870-1970
Mer, pearling industry, shells, Torres Strait
Diving for Pearl Shell
Video
1968
pearling industry, shells
The Newcomers
Text
1840s-
Mer, pearling industry, sea rights, Torres Strait, Yorke Island
Douglas Pitt descendants
Image and Text
 
colonisation, Hayes, Bully, Kennedy, Flo, Mer, pearling industry, Pitt, Douglas, Stars of Tagai, Torres Strait Islanders
Flo Kennedy
Image
 
Kennedy, Flo
60 Days Notice
Text
May, 11, 1882
Mimi, Marou, Murray Island, Papua New Guinea, pearling industry, Pitt, Douglas, Torres Strait Islanders, trade
Murray Island Annexation
Topic
1879
annexation, colonisation, conquest, International law, Mabo Case, Mer, Murray Island, Queensland, terra nullius
Gift Exchange
Topic
 
Meriam culture, Papua New Guinea, seafarers, Torres Strait Islanders
Striking Back
Topic
1880-1936
Mer, Murray Island, pearling industry, strike, Torres Strait Islanders