Town cel­e­brates the Lus­tre of pearling

Broome Advertiser - - News - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

An award-win­ning ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plor­ing the gritty hu­man story of the pearling in­dus­try has been cel­e­brated in Broome.

Lus­tre — Pearling and Aus­tralia, was orig­i­nally pro­duced by cu­ra­tors from the Broome-based Nyamba Buru Yawuru and the WA Mar­itime Mu­seum.

The trav­el­ling dis­play was launched at WA Mar­itime Mu­seum in 2015 and will tour Aus­tralia for the next few years be­fore head­ing home to Broome.

Vis­its so far in­clude the Mel­bourne Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Mu­seum in 2016 and it is now on show in the Sydney Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum. Broome is syn­ony­mous with the pearling in­dus­try and many lo­cal fam­i­lies have con­nec­tions and his­to­ries.

Lus­tre weaves its sto­ries across the whole top end of Aus­tralia and into other towns, ex­plor­ing the long his­tory and dif­fer­ent uses of pearls, pearl shells and how peo­ple fished for them.

As the main spon­sor, Broome pearling re­tailer Cygnet Bay Pearls cel­e­brated the ex­hi­bi­tion at the Broome Turf Club races on July 8.

Cygnet Bay gen­eral man­ager James Brown said it was the first op­por­tu­nity for the col­lab­o­ra­tors to get to­gether and re­vere “its amaz­ing suc­cess”.

“Broome is the epi­cen­tre of an in­cred­i­ble pearling story of global sig­nif­i­cance which dates back thou­sands of years, with the peo­ple of the re­gion col­lect­ing, carv­ing and trad­ing pearl shell across the coun­try, mak­ing this area one of the old­est pearling cen­tres in the world,” he said.

Mr Brown said the town was syn­ony­mous with pearling but it was a well-kept se­cret.

“Not many Aus­tralians know just how rich the pearling story is,” he said.

“From cul­tural art, sup­ply­ing 80 per cent of the world’s but­ton trade prior to plas­tics and now home of the world’s finest cul­tured pearls, it re­ally is a lay­ered story and unique and in­trigu­ing his­tory.”

WA Mar­itime Mu­seum's Tanya Ed­wards, Cygnet Bay Pearls' James Brown and Nyamba Buru Yawuru's Stephen Pi­gram.

Pic­tures: Robert Dougherty

James Brown

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.