Navigating Boundaries

Navigating Boundaries

The Asian diaspora in Torres Strait

Edited by: Anna Shnukal, Guy Ramsay, Yuriko Nagata

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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 The essays presented here draw on an extensive, widely dispersed body of information, including much unpublished material, in order to narrate stories of the Asian diaspora communities of Torres Strait, north Queensland.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 Resident Magistrate and the Protector of Aboriginals. 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.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Nov 2017
First published 2004 by Pandanus Books
ANU eView
Arts & Humanities: Art & Music, Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Anthropology
Australia; East Asia: China, Japan; South Asia: Sri Lanka; Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Philippines

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Navigating Boundaries »

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  1. Mapping Australasia: reflections on the permeability of Australia’s northern maritime borders (PDF, 0.3MB)Paul Battersby doi
  2. Tidal Flows: an overview of Torres Strait Islander–Asian contact (PDF, 0.3MB)Anna Shnukal and Guy Ramsay doi
  3. The Chinese Diaspora in Torres Strait: cross-cultural connections and contentions on Thursday Island (PDF, 0.4MB)Guy Ramsay doi
  4. ‘They don’t know what went on underneath’: three little-known Filipino/Malay communities of Torres Strait (PDF, 0.6MB)Anna Shnukal doi
  5. Heriberto Zarcal: the first Filipino–Australian (PDF, 0.3MB)Reynaldo C. Ileto doi
  6. The Japanese in Torres Strait (PDF, 0.4MB)Yuriko Nagata doi
  7. The Sri Lankan Settlers of Thursday Island (PDF, 0.5MB)Stanley J. Sparkes and Anna Shnukal doi
  8. John Douglas and the Asian Presence on Thursday Island: 1885–1904 (PDF, 0.3MB)Jeremy Hodes doi
  9. Coloured People: a challenge to racial stereotypes (PDF, 0.3MB)Regina Ganter doi
  10. Confluence: Asian cultural contributions to ailan pasin (PDF, 0.3MB)Anna Shnukal doi
  11. Some Historical and Contemporary Asian Elements in the Music and Performance Culture of Torres Strait (PDF, 0.2MB)Karl Neuenfeldt doi
  12. Voices from Torres Strait (PDF, 0.5MB) doi

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