- Torres Strait Islanders are the Indigenous Australians who come from the islands of the Torres Strait, between Cape York in Queensland and Papua New Guinea.
Enrich Your Learning:
- The Torres Strait is divided into five major island clusters.
- The Torres Strait is the body of water between Australia and Papua New Guinea where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet.
- There are 133 islands, sandy cays and rocky outcrops of which 38 are inhabited.
- The dialects of Torres Strait are Kala Kawa Ya, Kala Lagau Ya and Meriam.
- It also includes the five aboriginal and islander communities (Bamaga, Seisia, Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon), on the Northern Peninsula Area of Cape York.
Five major island clusters are:
- The Top Western Group (Boigu, Dauan and Saibai)
- The Near Western Group (Badu, Mabuiag and Moa)
- The Central Group (Yam, Warraber, Coconut and Masig)
- The Eastern Group (Murray, Darnley and Stephen)
- TI Group (Thursday, Horn, Hammond, Prince of Wales and Friday).
Significance of Torres Strait
- It is the only part of Australia with an active international border.
- Torres Strait Islanders are united by their connection to the Tagai, it reflects the stars and describe the Torres Strait Islanders as sea people.
- The Tagai is the spiritual belief system that connects people to the order of the world, stating that everything has its place.
- The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia are the oldest continuous civilisation on earth.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are not one homogenous group they are a diverse group of hundreds of nations (or cultural groups) and clans within those nations.
- Torres Strait Islanders are of Melanesian origin and have differing identities, histories and cultural traditions to Aboriginal Australians.