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Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family History: Cambridge Anthropological Expedition

This guide has been written to assist Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander family historians locate sources available to them at James Cook University, as well as some suggestions for resources located elsewhere.

About the Cambridge Anthropological Records

These records from the 1890s are apparently one of the earliest and most comprehensive documented studies of the Torres Strait Islands. There are six volumes which cover a range of traditional cultural topics including language, religion, genealogy, buildings, and music. The expedition also collected sound and film footage of both Torres Strait Islanders and Australian Aboriginal people who at the time were working and living in the Torres Straits. Some of these items are available online via Australia Screen  including film here.

Reports on the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits

Reports on the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits

The library holds six volumes of this work, with copies in the Main collection and the North Queensland Collection.

Volumes in the Main collection may be borrowed by library members, while copies in the North Queensland Collection remain in the library so they will always be available for consultation.  An Index to the reports has been compiled by Jeremy Hodes.  It is held in the North Queensland Collection.           

Haddon, Alfred C.  (1901-1935) Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres StraitsCambridge:  The University Press.  Call number:  301.299438 HAD (TSV/CNS)

Hodes, Jeremy. (1996).  Index to the Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits by Alfred HaddonCairns, QLD:  Far North Queensland Institute of TAFE.  Call number:   NQ 301.299438 HAD

V.1 -- Torres Strait Islands -- Anthropology -- Ethnography -- Physiology -- Languages -- Folk stories -- Material culture -- Domestic life -- Rites and rituals – Religions

V.2 -- Anthropology -- Torres Strait Islands -- Physiology -- Psychology -- Hearing -- Smell -- Taste -- Muscular sense – Vision

V.3 -- Anthropology -- Torres Strait Islands -- Linguistics -- Grammar -- Torres Strait Islander languages -- Miriam language -- Mabuiag language -- Literature -- Sign language -- Yaraikana language

V.4 -- Torres Strait -- Torres Strait Islanders -- Ethnology -- Body decorations -- Clothing -- Basketry -- Buildings -- Food preparation -- Horticulture -- Hunting -- Fishing -- Weapons -- Canoes -- Music -- Dancing -- Musical instruments -- Games – Toys

V.5 -- Torres Strait Islands -- Anthropology -- Magic -- Religion -- Sociology -- Folk tales -- Genealogy -- Kinship -- Birth and childhood customs -- Initiations -- Courtship -- Marriage -- Funeral ceremonies -- Morals -- Land tenure -- Trade – Warfare

v. 6 – Sociology, magic and religion of the Eastern Islanders.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country