Brian Robinson Torres Strait Linocut
printed in black ink from one block
Only in times of large-scale warfare did the need for an individual island leader arise. On these occasions, the most outstanding warrior became the island’s leader and assumed command in order to repel invaders or to lead raids for either retaliation or aggression.
During times of peace, village elders or headsmen were responsible for such things as maintaining tribal traditions and codes of behaviour, overseeing day-to-day life and educating youths in rituals, ceremonies and responsibilities of adult manhood within their community.