Archaeological evidence for South Sea Islander traditional ritual practice at Wunjunga, Ayr, central Queensland coast

01st December 2011

Barker&LambSR_AA73 Figure3

Stone structure (published in Australian Archaeology 73:71).

Bryce Barker and Lara Lamb

This paper presents the results of an excavation of a stone mound at Wunjunga at the mouth of the Burdekin River near Ayr on the central Queensland coast. It is proposed that this construction conforms broadly to the South Sea Islander ritual shrines described for Solomon Islands, recorded in oral tradition as related to fishing, purification, curing and warfare. This construction provides material evidence of the continuity of traditional ritual belief by Melanesian indentured labour, as they participated in the sugar cane industry in Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Bryce Barker and Lara Lamb
Archaeological evidence for South Sea Islander traditional ritual practice at Wunjunga, Ayr, central Queensland coast
2011
73
69-72
Short Report
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