Descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty on Pitcairn Island Part 2
About the desendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty on Pitcairn Island led by Fletcher Christian in an effort to build a utopia.
Descendants of the Bounty Mutineers on Pitcairn Island
Mutineer John Adams assumed he would be returned to England under arrest, and in fact indicated a longing to return to his native land despite charges pending against him. His wife, daughter, and members of the community pleaded with him not to leave. Captain Pipon of the Taugas wrote: "To have forced him away in opposition to their joint and earnest entreaties would have been an outrage on humanity." Adams, then, remained at Pitcairn, dying there in 1829 at the age of 62.
Now more in touch with the world, Pitcairners made 2 attempts (in the 1800s) to secure their future against the threats of drought and the fear of overpopulation of their island. They emigrated once to Tahiti, then to Norfolk Island. Both times, after bitter trials, a number of them returned to Pitcairn. They organized a system of government and the entire colony embraced the Seventh-Day Adventist faith. Today the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is the only one on Pitcairn.
Early visitors reported the Pitcairn community as being devout, hospitable, self-supporting, and contented. Homes and furniture were crude but adequate. For clothing, the women employed the ancient Polynesian craft of making tapa, a kind of paper cloth. It was slow, laborious work, but the garments produced were comfortable and modest. The women also knew how to prepare ample meals from the food sources available on the island. The predominantly vegetable and fruit diet included meat and fish once or twice a week. The community lived as one big family, increasing its population by the enforced choice of cousin spouses. It should be noted that after generations of inbreeding, there are no apparent degenerative conditions and no diseases endemic to the island. On the contrary, recent visitors describe Pitcairners as basically healthy, strong, and alert individuals. Their population has declined from a high of over 200 in 1937 to fewer than 70 in 1974. Only 6 family names are now represented on the island, 3 of which perpetuate the surnames of mutineers--Christian, Young, and McCoy.
Despite many modern conveniences, people live there today much in the same way as did their forefathers. Their tapa clothing has been replaced by Western-style dress, much of it cast-offs from passing ships. They have a few motorbikes and Mini-moke cars for getting about and there are motors for the longboats. But the hazards of launch and landing still require the supreme skill of seafaring men. Longboats have always been, and are today, the only method by which anything or anybody enters or leaves the island. There are still days and weeks of guessing when the next ship will call.
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