The Solomon Islands National Museum (Ministry of Culture and Tourism) will celebrate International Museum Day beginning on May 16th. As part of the occasion, the National Museum will host an exhibition entitled“Blackbirding: The Queensland-Pacific Indentured Labour Trade and Australian South Sea Islanders”. The exhibition will be the highlight of this year’s International Museum Day celebration.
Over a period of about 40 years (1863 to 1904), 62,000 Islanders were brought to Queensland from the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and other parts of the South Pacific to provide cheap labor for the burgeoning sugar and cotton industries. These “kidnapped” men were known as Blackbirders.
According to the museum:
The National Museum intends to provide a platform for (re)connection, recognition, dialogue, cultural exchange and strengthening of links between Australian South Sea Islanders and Solomon Islanders. This year’s International Museum Day will be a very historic moment indeed for Solomon Islanders and particularly the National Museum since we will also commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of the first South Sea Islanders in Queensland, Australia.
For more information, please read the article from the Solomon Star.