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Tudu, Torres Strait

Encounters. Indigenous contact and culture: a classroom resource

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Tudu, Torres Strait

Influential Torres Strait leader Maino first met visiting anthropologist Alfred Haddon in 1888. Explore how their cultural exchanges helped the British to learn about the richness of Tudu culture.

  • A map of Australia indicating the location of Tudu in the Torres Strait.
    Tudu, Torres Strait, Queensland
  • Black and white photograph showing two shelters covered in plant material.
    Setting the scene
  • A man in dance dress.
    Chief Maino
  • Dugong shaped from grey stone with a cord for suspension and a red ochre strip along the backbone.
    Dangal (dugong) charm
  • Headdress made of an open-work frame of bound cane with white feathers round the edge. Cassowary plumes are bound round the junction. The frame is painted red, yellow and white.
    Dhari (headdress)


Match the words to the pictures

What do you know about Tudu?

Video story

Discover Maino’s gift

Watch this video where Magan man Ned David says: ‘The artefacts … and a number of other things that that old fella [Maino] had given to Haddon … you can’t place a value … on how important it is for us.’

Activity: Brainstorm with a friend your thoughts about why these artefacts are so important to Ned David and his family.

More activities

Dangal (dugong charm) 

Activity: The dugong charm pictured above is designed to help in dugong hunting endeavours. Do you have a lucky object or charm? Draw and write about it, or design a lucky charm for an activity you enjoy.

Activity: Make your own woven fish from coloured paper after watching the weaving activity video inspired by our Lag Meta Aus: Home in the Torres Strait exhibition.


Activity: Draw a map of the Torres Strait Islands. Include and identify Tudu, Mer and Erub. See if you can also find Possession Island. This is where in 1770 James Cook declared the continent ‘terra nullius’ and claimed the land for the British King. Our Lag Meta Aus: Home in the Torres Strait website is a good starting point for this activity.

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