There's more to Norfolk Island There's more to Norfolk Island
Traditional plaited hats.

You may be familiar with the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty from watching Marlon Brando portray Fletcher Christian in a Hollywood movie, but do you know the connection between Norfolk Island and this period in maritime history?

To explain, let's turn back the clock to 28 April 1789, when the infamous Mutiny on HMAV Bounty occurred between disgruntled crewmen led by Fletcher Christian and William Bligh. They set William Bligh and 18 others out to sea and this left Christian in control of the ship with 9 mutineers, 6 Tahitian men and 12 Tahitian women, who then set off looking for a safe place to begin a new life.

They came across the remote Pitcairn Island located in the Southern Pacific Ocean and burnt the Bounty. 

This sealed their fate, not to be found for many years. 

Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama.

For survival, it was essential that the English sailors, and Tahitian men and women bring together their life skills and knowledge to grow and prosper as one community. Unable to speak each other's mother tongue, a distinct new language evolved, called Norf'k, a mix of old English and Tahitian. The language is written and spoken freely to this day, taught in schools, and in recent times used in signage such as road signs and landmarks. 

You will often hear the welcome "watawieh" (hello) or "see yorlyi morla" (see you tomorrow).

Back to early life on Pitcairn, the daily routine was mostly carried out by the women using their Polynesian ways to garden, gather, cook and weave. The traditional method of weaving with natural fibres from banana bark, flax and pandanus has been handed down from one generation to generation.

You will see this beautiful art in the woven hats that are proudly worn by Norfolk Islanders on celebratory occasions such as Anniversary Bounty Day.

Queen Victoria gifted Norfolk Island to the Pitcairn population as their new home because the tiny island had become overpopulated. The entire Pitcairn community of 194 arrived at Norfolk Island on 8 June 1856 (Anniversary Bounty Day) bringing with them their unique culture and traditional values of living a happy, caring and respectful way of life. 

Island food.

The Islanders are proud and passionate people, they know where they come from and their family identity pulses through their veins.

Stories about their foremothers and fathers are shared with any-one who has time to listen, but be prepared for a dash of cheeky humor thrown in!

Not only is Norfolk Island connected to Pitcairn Island and Tahiti via the Mutiny on the Bounty saga, artefacts have been discovered from a Polynesian seafarer settlement. 

And if that isn't enough history to get you enthused, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kingston is the site of two convict settlements.

There's more to Norfolk Island than you would ever expect, including some visitor experiences you won't find anywhere else in the world.

The award winning Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama is a visual story created with art and music, or witness the celebrations of Bounty day. 

Listen to poetry recited in the Norf'k language at the Wonderland by Night show, or enjoy the island dancing at sunset with the Baunti Beauties. 

Purchase locally made art and crafts, or go back in time at the Pitcairn Settlers Village.

Norfolk Island dancers.

Norfolk islanders are proud of their heritage and enjoy teaching others about their unique culture. Traditional cooking using locally grown fresh produce is part of every-day life. Creating local music, fishing with hand-made bamboo rods, living off the land, singing church hymns, and speaking the language are practiced, taught and shared with visitors.

You don't have to be a history lover to visit this precious little island. 

Stories are all around you - in Mother Nature, the stately Norfolk pines and the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean.

The islanders, who are proud custodians, live a lifestyle enriched in diverse traditions and cultural ways, with thanks to Fletcher Christian, the mutineers and their Tahitian wives.

"yorlyi kam luk orn" Come and have a look.

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