Black-birding as it was known as is just another one of those grim practices thrust upon a people who never asked for it and who were lied to and cheated and treated abhorrently by their captives. Those white men from Australia who scourged the islands for men for their labor force in the cane fields back on the East coast of Queensland and Northern New South Wales especially around the Tweed and Cudgen areas of Northern New South Wales were the cruel men who blackbirded.
In the late 1800s thousands of Melanesian Islanders were removed from their homelands, locked in boats and carted to Australia to work in Queensland's cane fields. It was virtually slavery. George Negus
There is still a huge population of people in around the North Queensland towns of Mackay and Sarina who are from Vanuatu and those surrounding islands. Their families are largely unknown to them and their true heritage stolen from them just the same way as the Aboriginal people were abused when this land was stolen by the British colonists.
What happened to the descendants of those people? Did they intermingle with local aboriginal tribes to form a new race of aboriginal that combined the genetics of a time once forgotten from when these people were all one and there was no ocean between them. A time when dry land and kangaroos grazed areas of the Pacific Ocean as we have it today. I think they were all one people once and were separated after the last cataclysm by the rising seas cutting off their land bridges.
This is something those governments and monarchists would not have considered in the day when they stole these people from their islands to enslave them as indentured workers on cane farms. Work they clearly needed lots of labor for and clearly they wanted to pay the least amount out for this
Slavery was alive and well in Australia in the early 1900's.
George Negus did a fascinating story on one such family and you can read the transcript to this HERE at GNTKanakas - "Kanaka", sometimes used as a derogatory name, originally referred only to native Hawaiians, called kānaka ʻōiwi or kānaka maoli in the Hawaiʻian language.
|Pacific Ocean ... across that ocean was their home.|
Images @ Eminpee Fotography