Definition of blackbirding in English:

blackbirding

noun

mass nounNZ, Australian
historical
  • The practice of kidnapping Pacific Islanders and using them as forced labour, in particular on sugar and cotton plantations in Australia.

    ‘the island's population was severely depleted by blackbirding’
    • ‘They made little progress at first, however, because "blackbirding" - the often brutal recruitment of laborers for the sugar plantations in Queensland and Fiji - led to a series of reprisals and massacres.’
    • ‘The southwest Pacific would become a recruiting ground for cheap contract labour, recalling the "blackbirding" of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘The technique of recruiting them, sometimes by fraud or force, was known as blackbirding.’
    • ‘During the 1860s, planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Samoa Islands, in need of laborers, encouraged a long-term indentured labor trade called "blackbirding."’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century, British and French settlers established a trade in "blackbirding" - the abduction of islanders for forced labour in Australia and Fiji.’
    • ‘There is no material culture explicitly connected to the period of blackbirding and the sandalwood trade, colonial structures of administration under British and French rule.’
    • ‘In the 19th century, the essence of "blackbirding" was the exploitation of the Islanders' labour for the development of the wealth of Australian imperialism.’
    • ‘Settlers exploited the sandalwood on the islands and established a trade in "blackbirding" - the abduction of islanders for forced labour in Australia and Fiji.’
    • ‘The recruitment of island labour was called "blackbirding".’
    • ‘This was the era of "blackbirding.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from blackbird in the sense ‘a Polynesian person on a slave ship’.

Pronunciation

blackbirding

/ˈblakbəːdɪŋ/