Coming of the Light Festival, Torres Straight

By AG STAFF 21 July 2015
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Before the missionaries came, the people of the Torres Straight had practised head-hunting and traded skulls with Papua New Guineans in return for long canoes. The shrubby island vegetation prevented Erub people from making their own canoes, but watercraft were vital to their seafaring way of life. Head-hunting was a violent and bloody exercise and Ida said that the reason the Coming of the Light was such a happy festival was because it was a celebration of peace. The missionaries preached that killing was a sin, and the island people had laid down their weapons.