Presentation on theme: "BY KEVIN SHIRES Broome senior high school. EARLY PEARLING IN BROOME The pearl masters came to brome in the early 1870s and began diving for pearls in."— Presentation transcript:
EARLY PEARLING IN BROOME The pearl masters came to brome in the early 1870s and began diving for pearls in roebuck bay rapidly making brome the pearl capital of the world. The Japanese, Chinese and islanders were the main divers, along with some local aboriginals people. They braved the sea as they braved drowning, the bends and the storms that come to the Kimberley in the cyclone season. Today there Japanese cemetery has over 900 graves most of them pearl divers.
Different types of pearls Here are the 3 of the many pearls in Broome Blister Pearl: Pearls that grow attached to the inner surface of the oyster or mussel shell. Mabe Pearl: Assembled cultured blister pearl. When blister pearl is cut from the shell, the pearl nucleus is removed. The remained hole is filled with a wax and the open will be covered with mother-of-pearl. Mabe pearls are not so durable as blister pearls Keshi: Pearls that grow accidentally in the soft tissue or pearl culturing by-products after pearl harvest.
Diving gear Skin divers The Broome pearling industry originated with naked divers, most of whom were Aborigines who had to hold their breath and dive for oyster shells. This skin diving method existed between the 1860's to the 1880's. As time progressed, the copper helmet was introduced The aborigines could not handle the complexities of the helmet suit and they also felt very claustrophobic. Their role in the industry was therefore reduced to a minimal. THE COPPER HELMET DIVING SUIT It was a major job in getting the canvas suits on, because the diver firstly had to encase himself in several layers of woollen underwear (to guard himself against the cold), followed by the job of putting on the watertight canvas suit called the 'dress'. His hands were soaped to enable him to pull the rubber cuffs over them, the heavy boots were pulled on over the suit, and lastly, the copper helmet was put on. This was screwed onto the shoulder piece and a glass face piece was then attached.
Cultural effects Australia's pearling industry began long before European settlement. Northern Australian coastal dwelling Aboriginals harvested the pearl shell from the shallow waters and had a well established trading network for pearl shell. Within Australia, pearl shells travelled further perhaps than any other item. In Western Australia an explorer saw an aboriginal wearing a pearly oyster-shell which had travelled at least 500 miles from its point of origin. When Europeans settled in Australia, they were quick to see the value of the pearl fields. Pearling began in earnest at Shark Bay, Western Australia, in the 1850s and in the Torres Strait in 1868 with 16 pearling firms operating on Thursday Island in 1877.The colony of Queensland recognised the value of this resource, and annexed the islands in 1879. By 1910, nearly 400 luggers and more than 3500 people were fishing for shell in waters around Broome
Science and pearls The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It's kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. So a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewellery stores are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape -- these are called baroque pearls. Pearls, as you've probably noticed, come in a variety of various colours, including white, black, gray, red, blue and green. Most pearls can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.