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Navigating boundaries : The Asian diaspora in Torres Strait

posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by A Shnukal, Y Nagata, G Ramsay
Navigating Boundaries belongs to a new generation of Asian-Australian historical studies. The essays presented here draw on an extensive, widely dispersed body of information, including much unpublished material, in order to narrate stories of the Asian diaspora communities of Torres Strait, north Queensland. Early chapters give an overview of Torres Strait Islander/Asian/European interaction, documenting the experiences of people from the five major Asian communities in the Torres Strait: Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese and Sri Lankan. Later chapters inspect the early authorities of Torres Strait, including the former Government Resident, Hon. John Douglas (who admired Torres Strait and Pacific Islanders but was a strong supporter of the White Australia Policy), and the Protector of Aboriginals (who sought to prevent contact between Asian and Indigenous people). Other chapters examine the contributions to Torres Strait culture made by Asian communities, from ethnic identity, clothing and cuisine to religion, funeral and burial practices, and with a strong focus on the rich musical culture of Torres Strait Islanders. In the final chapter of the book, a variety of local voices narrate stories of Torres Strait people of Asian ancestry, providing a deeply personal insight into the Asian experience in Torres Strait. In this way, Navigating Boundaries brings together a range of voices to examine the history and socio-cultural dynamics of the major Asian communities in Torres Strait and, in so doing, brings light to bear on the multiculturalism of mainland Australia. -- back cover


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit; School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies;

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