Torres Strait culture not lost, just buried in the past

Tom Mosby

Brisbane's Southbank cultural precinct has just been host to almost four months of exhibitions celebrating Torres Strait Islander history, arts and culture. The largest venture of its kind ever staged, the showcase ranged from 'naive' to contemporary art, music, dance, religion and traditional storytelling - all designed to make visitors more aware of the 270 islands (17 inhabited) and five language groups that make up non-mainland Melanesian Australia.
 
For its part, the State Library of Queensland brought to life more than 100 years of islander history through its exhibition Strait Home. The multimedia show draws on material collected by three different non-islanders who each recorded and preserved aspects of Torres Strait Islander culture in different time periods. One was Margaret Lawrie, a self-taught anthropologist and historian who returned regularly to the islands in the 1960s and 70s.
 
Tom Mosby is the library's manager of indigenous research and the curator of the Strait Home exhibition.

Brisbane's Southbank cultural precinct has just been host to almost four months of exhibitions celebrating Torres Strait Islander history, arts and culture. The largest venture of its kind ever staged, the showcase ranged from 'naive' to contemporary art, music, dance, religion and traditional storytelling - all designed to make visitors more aware of the 270 islands (17 inhabited) and five language groups that make up non-mainland Melanesian Australia.

For its part, the State Library of Queensland brought to life more than 100 years of islander history through its exhibition Strait Home. The multimedia show draws on material collected by three different non-islanders who each recorded and preserved aspects of Torres Strait Islander culture in different time periods. One was Margaret Lawrie, a self-taught anthropologist and historian who returned regularly to the islands in the 1960s and 70s. 

Tom Mosby is the library's manager of indigenous research and the curator of the Strait Home exhibition.

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