One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounAustralian, NZ
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’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘This was the era of "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.’
- ‘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."’
- ‘In the 19th century, the essence of "blackbirding" was the exploitation of the Islanders' labour for the development of the wealth of Australian imperialism.’
- ‘The recruitment of island labour was called "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.’
Late 19th century: from blackbird in the sense ‘a Polynesian person on a slave ship’.
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