Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kanaker Survey

I'll flesh this out later, but I would like to know if the word 'Kanaker' is known by most Australians? Do you know what a Kanaker is? Do most Australians know what a Kanaker is and I am off track? Perhaps it is a pejorative name and its use is discouraged.


  1. Apparently Google doesn't know what one is either...

  2. Don't know Kanaker. Do you mean Kanaka?

  3. Were they PNG people who were a great help to Australia in WW2?
    not to be confused with Canadian canucks!

  4. aha! Nouvelle Caledonie -

    The Pacific: Uninvited Guests - NI 101 - We are Kanaks
    Kanaks, as the original Melanesian inhabitants have come to call themselves, are desperate people. Once a pure Melanesian society, New Caledonia today is ...

    I was in Noumea about 1981 and I remember thinking that the locals looked very sulky - there was an atmosphere of fomenting, and sure enough, very soon after, there was a sort of revolution politically.

    The 'old' part of town looks like Haiti or Havana - pink 2-storey houses with white window shutters, and of course, it's all very French (except for nude Germans on the beach)

  5. You talking about the slave trade in Australia with blackbirding of the Kanakas to work in the sugar cane fields?

  6. dunno, never erd it before

  7. Jayne's right - blackbirding of Kanakas for the sugar fields in Qld was a big industry.

  8. LOL, my my, I have not heard that word since I was a kid..used to describe a hit in the "nether regions" or.."a whack in the Kanackers".
    Also known to be clackers, those solid balls on a string that would break your knuckles when you played with them.... and well, because of their resemblance to ...........well you know.

  9. You must have spelt it wrongly Brian. Careless of you. Read on.

    Quite so Victor, which is why I got very limited search results. Does seem to be that some spell it with er, but yes, I was wrong.

    You make NC sound like food FG. So you didn't instantly know. I am surprised (not a criticism).

    Naturally I knew you would know Jayne. I will check the links later, ta.

    Another one to suprise me Ian, given your...........ah where you went to school.

    Yep Lad, I don't think the sugar industry would have even been the size it is now if it wasn't for them.

    Lol Cazzie, I knew someone would go for it. Good laugh.

    Well folks, I will update the post shortly.

  10. Anonymous8:00 pm

    Yes, Kanaks was the general name given to people from mostly PNG and Melanesia who were brought to Queensland to work in the cane fields. These people were officially called "indetured servants" but in reality, they were slaves and had absolutely no rights. Their living conditions were apalling and they were given just enough food to survive. Women were routinely subjected to sexual abuse and men were worked until they dropped. They were not allowed to leave their alloted plantation without permission and if they did, they were considered runaways. When caught, they were chained to prevent them from absconding again. It was one of the most shameful periods of Australia's history. I wrote a paper on this when I was in uni. vik.

  11. Yep Vik, as I understand it too. Brought to QLD, well some were just virtually kidnapped. Disgraceful.

  12. Cazzie is a real hoot!