The infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, with Captain William Bligh and his followers set adrift in the lo

The infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, with Captain William Bligh and his followers set adrift in the lo

THE BOUNTY movie, 1984, starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson.

THE BOUNTY movie, 1984, starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson.

The HMAV Bounty voyage, including Captain Blight's voyage to Timor.

The HMAV Bounty voyage, including Captain Blight's voyage to Timor.

Pitcairn Islanders in 1916.

Pitcairn Islanders in 1916.

Norfolk Islanders celebrate their Bounty Day centenary in 1956, alongside the old convict compound.

Norfolk Islanders celebrate their Bounty Day centenary in 1956, alongside the old convict compound.

The Bounty Day re-enactment, remembering the arrival of the Pitcairners to Kingston Pier in 1856.

The Bounty Day re-enactment, remembering the arrival of the Pitcairners to Kingston Pier in 1856.

Norfuk salan gathering on Kingston pier on Bounty Day, in traditional clothing.

Norfuk salan gathering on Kingston pier on Bounty Day, in traditional clothing.

Beautiful Norfuk babies on Bounty Day.

Beautiful Norfuk babies on Bounty Day.

The Bounty procession walks from the pier to the island's cemetery to honouring their ancestors.

The Bounty procession walks from the pier to the island's cemetery to honouring their ancestors.

The traditional woven hats of Norfolk Island.

The traditional woven hats of Norfolk Island.

A traditional Norfolk dish, plun (banana) pilahi.

A traditional Norfolk dish, plun (banana) pilahi.

Two worlds merge - Pacific Island fruits in pie pastry, courtesy of the American whalers' wives' inf

Two worlds merge - Pacific Island fruits in pie pastry, courtesy of the American whalers' wives' inf

NORFUK SALAN

The Norfolk Island people are descendants of the Polynesian women and the infamous HMAV Bounty Mutineers who settled on Pitcairn Island in 1790. Nine months prior to settling on Pitcairn, Fletcher Christian and his followers had stolen The Bounty and set Captain William Bligh out to sea. They had traversed the Pacific in search of a home - and a hiding place - ultimately pulling up anchor at Pitcairn Island, a tiny uninhabited isle in the South Pacific sea. It is believed that the Polynesians on board knew of Hitiaurevareva (Pitcairn) and so assisted the Mutineers using their ancient seafaring skills. The total population of 12 Polynesian women, 9 Mutineers, and 6 Polynesian men watched Mathew Quintal set the Bounty alight, and as the majestic ship crumbled into the sea, their fate was sealed. 

 

The first years on Pitcairn were violent and tumultuous as the Polynesian men and the Europeans battled. By 1794 only four European men remained, and by 1800 John Adams was the last adult male survivor. John Adams became the patriarch of the young community, and led them to Christianity through the teachings of the Bounty bible. Culturally, the women on Pitcairn, in spite of the violence and upheaval, continued to nurture their children and teach their Polynesian heritage. A mixed language developed on Pitcairn, and as such the Norfolk and Pitcairn peoples share a common tongue which is an eclectic mix of 18th century English and Tahitian, with elements of West Indian creole, Scottish and several other languages.

 

The Pitcairn Island people were discovered by an American whaling ship in 1808, and the island inhabitants became famous. Their uniquely pious and moral community captured the imagination of the world, and they became favourites of Queen Victoria, who consequently gifted Norfolk Island to their growing population. It was with heavy hearts that the 194 inhabitants said goodbye to their beloved Pitcairn, though they were a courageous community who knew they could thrive as long as they had each other. They arrived on to Kingston Pier on the 8th of June, 1856, and every year on this date the Norfolk Island people celebrate their arrival and pay homage to their ancestors. 

 

This is just the very tip of a deep and complex history, though to summarise the Pitcairn/Norfolk story, it’s a tale of resourcefulness, community, and survival against all odds. Even as the modern world presses itself around the small island, the Norfuk salan continue to value traditional skills such as weaving, taapa (using bark fibres to make clothes), cooking, fishing, waka (outrigger canoeing) and plant cultivation, and these skills are proudly passed on down through the generations. 

 

Since 1856, the Norfolk Island people of Pitcairn Island descent have been the passionate custodians of the island’s land and sea. They have been masters of miekduu, the art of resourcefulness, and they are adept at living in harmony with their environment. In modern times however, the outside world has crept into the Norfolk way of life, namely the ease of consumption via imported goods and the allure of worldly conveniences, which has led to many of the waste problems the Island is having today. The Norfolk Wave Campaign aims to educate and resource the Norfolk Island community to move into the future with economic and environmental sustainability, so that all future generations of Norfuk salan can enjoy the bounty of dems kamfram (their heritage).