Koey Ngurtai: the emergence of a ritual domain in Western Torres Strait

David, Bruno and McNiven, Ian J. and Crouch, Joe and Hewitt, Geoffrey and Skelly, Robert and Barker, Bryce and Courtney, Kris (2009) Koey Ngurtai: the emergence of a ritual domain in Western Torres Strait. Archaeology in Oceania, 44 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0003-8121

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Abstract

Koey Ngurtai is a small, uninhabited island located midway between the residential islands of Badu and Mahuyag in western Torres Strait. In 2003 and 2004, 100% surveys of the islet revealed 166 cultural sites. Fifty archaeological excavations were undertaken, revealing a rich history of islet use culminating with the emergence of Koey Ngurtai as a ritual centre after 550-700 cal BP, and a proliferation of ritual structures focused on dugong hunting magic after 350-550 cal BP. Shortly after the arrival of colonial powers in Torres Strait in the 1870s. including pearl shelling and missionary activity, Koey Ngurtai's ritual status was again transformed. This paper reports on these archaeological investigations and historicises Koey Ngurtai as a ritual land-and-seascape


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited with blanket permission of publisher.
Depositing User: Professor Bryce Barker
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2010 03:28
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2014 05:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: Koey Ngurtai; Torres Strait; cultural sites
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5710

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