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  • Kwaio Piracy as Moral Instruction: Lessons From Archival and Oral Histories

Kwaio Piracy as Moral Instruction: Lessons From Archival and Oral Histories - School of Humanities and Communication

Presented by David Akin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and Clive Moore, University of Queensland

Date: 08 October 2019
Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Venue: Toowoomba - Q502
Contact: For more information, please contact Victor Igreja.
Booking: Please RSVP to Victor Igreja by Wednesday 25 September, 2019
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Beginning in the 1870s, Malaita in the Solomon Islands became the new labour frontier for Queensland and Fiji, and over several decades ships carried thousands of men from the island to work on farms and plantations there. This talk is a comparative analysis of archival and oral history accounts of three daring attacks on Australian and Fijian labour recruiting ships in the 1880s by men of Kwaio in eastern Malaita. Kwaio oral histories tell us much about what is invisible or erroneous in period documents, while archived accounts expose puzzling distortions in the oral histories. The talk draws out these distortions and asks where they came from. The answers illuminate how many Kwaio and other Malaitans through the years since the attacks have conceived of their relationships with Europeans, foreign ways, and the global geopolitical system, perspectives which many maintain today. A comparative approach here reveals things that neither anthropologists nor historians can get at in any other way.

Light refreshments will be served from 10.30am