Seafarers & Food Growers
The Meriam lived in eight clan territories around the coastal rim of their Island homes. They owned and worked plots of land which spread across the island. A vast patchwork of irregular strips, some as small as one hundred square metres.
"They are crooked boundaries", James Rice, a senior Meriam land owner explained in 1989. not at all like the straight line boundaries of land allotments in Australia.
The Meriam practiced slash and burn agriculture, and fished from the shore, in lagoons, and on the Islands fringing reefs. They grew staple foods in the rich volcanic soil, sweet potatoes, manioc, coconuts, bananas and other fruit, but most importantly, some thirty varieties of yam, a crop shrouded in secret garden lore.
They were also great seafarers, and took part in a complex network of customary exchange throughout the region.
Eddie Koiki Mabo - JCU lectures with sardine scoop
James Cook University, Mabo, Edward Koiki, sardine scoop, Townsville, weris
A Voyage to Terra Australis
canoes, european contact, Flinders, Matthew , Mer, sea, Torres Strait
...This yam is like a bank...
Land Bilong Islanders, land ownership, yams
The Haddon map of Mer
Cambridge Anthropological Expedition, clans, Haddon, A.C., land boundaries, map, Mer, tribes
Adapted To Their Continent
Australia, First Fleet, indigenous people, land use
The Murray Islanders' Evidence
evidence, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Murray Island, plaintiffs, witnesses
Federal Government, Australia, fish traps, fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sacred, sea rights
A Meriam Calendar, Ancient & Modern
fishing, food gathering, gardening, Mer, Meriam culture, Murray Island
Federal Government, Australia, fishing, Meriam culture, sea rights
Farming The Sea
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sea rights
Hierarchies Of Land Use
barbarism, colonisation, terra nullius
In Meriam Waters
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sea rights, seafarers, Torres Strait
Listening To The Sea
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, sea rights, seafarers
Something Deep Within Us
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, sacred, sea rights, seafarers