The Torres Strait Islander Festival which happens once a year in Queensland, Australia, marks a rare opportunity to raise awareness of its important culture. The overall intent of the Festival is to celebrate the contemporary and historical culture of Torres Strait Islanders.
The Queensland Museum exhibition Awakening: Stories from the Torres Strait, seeks to raise awareness of the complexity and diversity of Torres Strait Islander culture through an object-rich exhibition. A major theme in this exhibition is ‘Awakening’ – the concept of reconnecting objects, people and spirit. It is within this theme that Queensland Museum requested to borrow the precious Torres Strait Mask from the Te Papa Collection. The Te Papa Mask is of particular interest to Queensland Museum because it features a European style broad-rim hat, illustrating the complex cultural interactions that were taking place in late 19th century Torres Strait, and the survival and continuity of Torres Strait culture in the wake of European contact. The Mask will be on display at Queensland Museum from 25 June 2011 – 04 December 2011.