Murray Island, Queensland
Murray Island, also called Mer within the native Meriam language, is a small island of volcanic origin, the most easterly inhabited island of the Torres Strait Islands archipelago, just north of the great Stone Barrier Reef. The island is populated by the Melanesian Meriam folks, which has a population of around 485 as of 2006 census. The Murray Group includes three islands: Mer, Dauar and Waier.
There are eight Meriam clans: Komet, Zagareb, Meuram, Magaram, Geuram, Peibre, Meriam-Samsep, Piadram, and Dauer Meriam. The organisation of the island is predicated on the standard laws of boundary and possession. Administrative control of the island rest with the Torres Strait Regional Authority.
2 Historical past 2.1 Pre-European settlement
2.2 Publish European settlement (1872) 2.2.1 Tradition
Murray Island, located within the eastern section of Torres Strait, is a basaltic island formed from an extinct volcano, which was last active over a million years ago. It formed consequently when the Indo-Australian Plate slid over the East Australia hotspot. The island rises to a plateau 80 metres (260 ft) above mean sea degree.
The highest level of the island is the 230-metre (750 ft) Gelam Paser, the western finish of the volcano crater. The island has red fertile soil and is covered in dense vegetation. The island has a tropical local weather with a wet and dry season.
Murray Island has been inhabited for round 2800 years, the primary settlers being Papuo-Austronesians who brought agriculture and pot making with them. Regular contact between the inhabitants of Torres Strait (including Murray Island, recognized by the Meriam people as Mer Island), Europeans, Asians and different outsiders began as soon as the Torres Strait grew to become a means of passage between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the 19th Century.
The inhabitants of the Torres Strait, together with the Meriam people, gained a repute as fierce warriors and skilled mariners. Warfare (both intertribal and in opposition to European ships in transit through the Coral Sea) and head searching have been a part of the tradition of all Torres Strait islanders. The account of Jack Ireland, a surviving cabin boy from the barque Charles Eaton that was wrecked in 1834 at Detached Reef close to the entrance to Torres Strait is of curiosity on this respect. He spent much of his time on Murray Island earlier than being rescued.
A large ceremonial mask was recovered in 1836 from a neighbouring island – Aureed (Skull) Island, following his rescue and that of younger William D’Oyley, the only different survivor of the Charles Eaton, and their return to Sydney. The mask was made of turtle shells surrounded by quite a few skulls, seventeen of which stone island junior jackets cheap were decided as having belonged to the crew and passengers of the Charles Eaton who were massacred once they got here ashore following the shipwreck. The mask was entered into the collection of the Australian Museum after the skulls have been buried on 17 November 1836 in a mass grave in the Sydney cemetery in Devonshire Street. An acceptable monument – within the type of an enormous altar stone – recording the catastrophe by which they perished was erected. When the Devonshire Avenue Cemetery was resumed for the location of the Central Railway Station in 1904 the skulls and the monument have been removed to Bunnerong Cemetery at Botany Bay Sydney.
Put up European settlement (1872)
Missionaries (mainly Polynesian) and another Polynesians started to settle on the island in 1872 when the London Missionary Society founded a missionary college there. The Queensland Government annexed the islands in 1879. Tom Roberts, the nicely-recognized Australian painter, visited the island in 1892. He witnessed a night-time dance and depicted it in a painting.
In 1936, a maritime strike fuelled by Islander dissatisfaction with the truth that their wages and boats were managed by the Protector of Aborigines allowed islanders to assert control and reject government controls. In 1937, the inaugural assembly of Island Councillors on Yorke Island resulted within the Torres Strait Islander Act (1939), giving Islanders more authority in their own affairs and established native governments on every island.
After the outbreak of the Pacific Battle in 1941, over seven hundred Islanders volunteered to defend the Torres Strait. This group was organised into the Torres Strait Mild Infantry Battalion. The migration of Islanders to mainland Australia elevated as jobs disappeared in the pearling industry. A call for independence from Australia in the 1980s was resulting from the government failing to offer basic infrastructure on the island.
Murray Island’s most well-known resident was commerce unionist Eddie Mabo, whose resolution to sue the Queensland Authorities to secure ownership of his land, which had been faraway from his ancestors by the British colonial powers using the terra nullius legal idea, ultimately led to the High Court docket of Australia, on attraction from the Supreme Courtroom of the State of Queensland, concern the “Mabo decision” to finally recognise Mabo’s rights on his land on three June 1992. This resolution continues to have ramifications for Australia. Mabo himself died a number of months before the decision. After vandalism to his grave site, he was reburied on Murray Island the place the islanders carried out a conventional ceremony for the burial of a king.
The folks of Mer maintain their conventional culture. Trendy influences such as client items, tv, journey and radio are having an affect on traditional practices and tradition. Despite this, music and dance remains an integral a part of island life and is demonstrated via celebrations reminiscent of Mabo Day, Coming of the light, Tombstone openings and different cultural occasions. In 2007, after two years of negotiations, the skulls of five Islander tribesmen had been returned to Australia from a Glasgow museum where that they had been archived for greater than 100 years.
The artist Ricardo Idagi was born on Murray Island. Idagi won the main prize at the Western Australian Indigenous Artwork Awards in 2009.
The individuals of Murray Island communicate Torres Strait Creole and Meriam, a member of the Jap Trans-Fly languages of Trans-New Guinea; its sister languages being Bini, Wipi and Gizrra. Although it’s unrelated to Kalaw Lagaw Ya of the Central and Western Islands of Torres Strait, the two languages share around 40% of their vocabulary. Torres Strait English is a second language.
Murray Island is governed by the Community Council, which is chargeable for roads, water, housing and neighborhood occasions. The Neighborhood Council is an integral part of community life. The elders of the community hold a position of respect and now have a significant influence on island life.
Checklist of Torres Strait Islands
Listing of volcanoes in Australia
Murray Island Airport
^ McInnes, Allan (1983). The Wreck Of The Charles Eaton. Windsor: Diamond Press. p. 45.
^ “Torres Strait Island communities I-M”. State Library of Queensland. Eleven Might 2011. Retrieved four July 2011.
^ Bousen, Mark (6 March 2010). “118-year-outdated Murray Island art discovered”. Torres News. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
^ “Queenslander”. Information Restricted. Thirteen June 2009. Retrieved four July 2011.
^ “Mer Islanders reclaim sacred skulls”. Torres News. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
^ Rothwell, Nicolas (1 October 2009). “Carved out of ancestral whispers”. The Australian. News Restricted. Retrieved four July 2011.