Awakening: Stories from the Torres Strait

"Awakening" seeks to reconnect the spirit between people and their objects.

Trochus shells & button blanks

Cultural Advice: Visitors should be aware that the exhibition and website may include names, images and voices of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is our intention to tell these stories and use imagery with good faith and with respect.

"Bringing the past forward, to create an understanding of the past for the future generations"

Uncle Thomas Sebasio, Elder, Erub Island

Pearl shelling was concentrated in the Torres Strait, but trochus shells were also collected to make buttons. Trochus shellers ranged down the barrier reef, operating out of Cairns, Townsville and Mackay before returning to Thursday Island. The advent of plastic buttons spelt the end of the industry. The industry allowed  Islander men to become familiar with these mainland cities.

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