Torres Strait Islanders


Torres Strait Islanders

Infobox Ethnic group
group = Torres Strait Islanders


flag_caption =The Torres Strait Islander Flag
population = 48,000
languages = see Torres Strait Island languages
religions = see Christianity
related = Indigenous Australians, Papuans
footnotes =

Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. They are culturally akin to the coastal peoples of Papua New Guinea. They are regarded as being distinct from other Aboriginal peoples of the rest of Australia, and are generally referred to separately. There are also two Torres Strait Islander communities on the nearby coast of the mainland at Bamaga and Seisia.

Population

There are 6,000 Torres Strait Islanders who live in the area of the Torres Strait, and 42,000 others who live outside of this area, mostly in the north of Queensland, particularly in Townsville and Cairns. [cite web |url=http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/indg_overview.html |title=Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples |work=Australia Now |publisher=Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade |accessdate=2006-12-10]

Culture

The indigenous people of the Torres Strait have a distinct culture which has slight variants on the different islands where they live. They are a sea-faring people, and engaged in trade with people of Papua New Guinea. The culture is complex, with some Australian elements, some Papuan elements, and some Austronesian elements, just like the languages. The Islanders seem to have been the dominant culture for many centuries, and neighbouring Aboriginal and Papuan cultures show some Island influence in religious ceremonies and the like. Archaeological, linguistic and folk history evidence suggests that the core of Island culture is Austronesian. Unlike the indigenous peoples of mainland Australia, the islanders were traditionally agriculturalists although they supplemented their food supplies through hunting and gathering.

Their more recent, post-colonization history has seen new cultural influences, most notably the place of Christianity (particularly of the Baptist and Anglican strains) which caused major shifts in cultural paradigms, as well as subtler additions through the influence of Polynesian (particularly Rotuman) pearl-divers brought by black-birders in the 19th Century.

Languages

Kalaw Lagaw Ya, Kalau Kawau Ya, Kulkalgau Ya and Kawalgau Ya, which are all dialects of the Western-central Torres Strait Language (Kala Lagaw Ya), are spoken on the southwestern, western, northern and central islands. These are related to Aboriginal languages. Meriam Mir, related to Papuan languages, is spoken on the eastern islands. [cite web |url=http://www.atsia.gov.au/Facts/docs/FS_series23.pdf |title=Torres Strait Islanders |work=Fact Sheets |publisher=Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs |accessdate=2006-12-10]

Notable Islanders

Famous Torres Strait Islanders include
*Eddie Mabo
*Christine Anu
*Seaman Dan
*Wendell Sailor - NRL player for St. George Illawarra Dragons
*Sam Thaiday - NRL player for Brisbane Broncos
*Brent Webb - Super League player for Leeds Rhinos and Kiwis fullback
* The Mills Sisters
*Patrick Mills - Youngest player ever for the Australia men's basketball team (Torres Strait Islander father, Aborigine mother)
*Danny Morseu - Former basketball player and member of the NBL Hall of Fame
*Nathan Jawai - NBA rookie for Toronto Raptors
*Michael Bani - NRL player for Manly Sea Eagles
*Martin Nakata [ [http://www.jumbunna.uts.edu.au/staff/martin.html Martin Nakata : Jumbunna UTS Indigenous Education ] ]

ee also

*Indigenous Australians
*Papua New Guinea
*Torres Strait Islander Flag
*Torres Strait Island languages

References

External links

* [http://www.tsra.gov.au/www/index.cfm Torres Strait Regional Authority]
* [http://www.churchoftorresstrait.org Church of Torres Strait]
* [http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/find/virtualbooks/aboriginal_and_torres_strait_islanders_books Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders' virtual books] - held by the State Library of Queensland.


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Torres Strait Islander — Die Flagge der Torres Strait Insulaner Die Torres Strait Islanders sind die Ureinwohner der Torres Strait Inseln, Queensland, Australien. Sie haben eine melanesische Kultur und sind mit den Aborigines nicht verwandt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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