, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 157–168 | Cite as

Pearl culture and the islanders' society of the torres strait

  • Ohshima George 


Islanders of the Torres Strait are originally skilled seamen. They have rich and correct knowledge about the physical circumstances of the sea, and of the ecological conditions of the maritime resources. The strait itself is the best fishing ground of natural pearl throughout the Pacific waters, then, pearl-seekers came from Sydney and pearls were sold even in London. Of course, Islanders were employed as labourers of diver-boats, on which they made intimate relation to Japanese divers who had excellent ability of diving and pearl-collecting.

After World War II, new marine industry was introduced by Japanese, that is, pearl-culturing. Australia-Japan joint enterprises settled their pearl-farms in the strait, and Islanders found their good job with desirable incomes there. Moreover, they are getting some special technics of sea affairs in this industry.

Author explains the cultural change of Islanders' society concerned with pearl-culturing in these decades.


Broome Torres Strait Island Green Turtle Fishing Ground Culture Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Australian Fisheries: Pearl Culture Industry Recovering. Australian Fisheries 34, 5, 12–13 (1975)Google Scholar
  2. Becket, Jeremy R.: The Torres Strait Islanders and Pearling Industry; A Case of Internal Colonialism. Aboriginal History 1, 77–104 (1977)Google Scholar
  3. Carr, A. P.; Main, A. R.: Turtle Farming Project in Northern Australia. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra 1973.Google Scholar
  4. Dick, Gerald: Pearls of the Coral Sea. Paradise 3, 10–12 (1977)Google Scholar
  5. Farnfield, D. Jean: Shipwrecks and Pearl Shells; Somerset, Cape York 1864–1877. Lectures on North Queensland History, James Cook University, 66–77 (1975)Google Scholar
  6. Finch, Noel: The Torres Strait Islands; Protraits of a Unique Group of Australians. The Jacaranda Press, Milton (Old.) 1977.Google Scholar
  7. George, C. Denis: Pearl Cultivation in the South Seas; A Dedication to the Memory of Seville-Kent. Lapidary Journal 24, 5, 660–674 (1970)Google Scholar
  8. Lever, John: Crocodile Industry Trading Manual. (Wildlife Manual, No. 75/1), Wildlife Division, Dept. of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries, Konedobu (P.N.G.) 1975.Google Scholar
  9. Matsui, Kaichi: Dictionary of Pearl. Hokuryukan, Tokyo 1977 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  10. Ohshima, George: Acculturation and Christianization in Torres Strait Islands. Kwansei Gakuin University Annual Studies 29, 47–58 (1980)Google Scholar
  11. Ohshima, George: Crocodile Farming in Papua New Guinea. Minpaku-Tsushin 16, 32–38 (1982) (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  12. Ohshima, George: Between Australia and New Guinea — Ecological and Cultural Diversity in the Torres Strait with Special Reference to the Use of the Marine Resources. Geographical Review of Japan 59 (Ser.B), 2, 69–82 (1986)Google Scholar
  13. Reynolds, L. Fred: Barramundi Research in Papua New Guinea. Harvest 2, 1, 9–12 (1972)Google Scholar
  14. Sissons, David C. S.: Japanese Immigrants in Australia between 1871–1946. Ijukenkyu 10, 27–54 (1974) (in Japanese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ohshima George 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyKwansei Gakuin UniversityNishinomiyaJapan

Personalised recommendations