THE TORRES STRAIT ISLANDS

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The islands of the Torres Strait extend from the tip of Cape York Peninsula to within 5 kilometres of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) coastline. The outer islands are north of the arbitrary dotted line, and consist of the western islands (Badu, Moa, Mabuiag), the northwestern islands (Boigu, Dauan, Saibai), the eastern islands (Ugar, Erub, Mer), and the central islands (Masig, Poruma, Warraber, Iama). Recent estimates place the population of the Torres Strait at about 6500. A treaty between Australia and PNG allows Papuans to freely visit the Torres Strait islands (and vice versa) for "traditional" purposes (e.g., to trade and to attend ceremonies).

 

The following collection of modern and historical images of the islands of the Torres Strait are a fascinating record of many of the complex and diversified aspects that go to make up these beautiful islands.  In particular, they allow one to appreciate the beauty and the intensity of the cultural background of the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands.

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Fishing canoe

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Traditional Torres Strait dance

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Islet of the Torres Strait

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Thursday Island view

 

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Looking south from Thursday Island towards the Australian mainland with mangrove swamps in the distance.

 

Early image of pearling boats, Thursday Island

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Derelict wharf, Thursday Island

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Rotting hulk off Thursday Island

    

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Historical postcard of the mission school on Thursday Island

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Jane Resture
(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 9th November 2012)