The Pitcairn Islands has one of the most fascinating stories of history that can provide us with examples of how cultures are created, how man can be pushed to his limits and how being remote can mean that there are no laws.

This story begins with the mutiny made famous in The Mutiny on the Bounty written by Charles Nordoff and James Norman Hall where Fletcher Christian took control of HMS Bounty.He put the Captain William Bligh with about 18 men, who were loyal to him, in a small boat and set them adrift.

Fletcher Christian manages to navigate Bligh’s Ship to the Pitcairn Islands, a small group of about 4 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, with some Tahitians  and the rest of the mutineers. Fletcher is killed by either a Tahitian or one of his fellow companions,probably over a Tahitian woman.Six others are also murdered.Another guy is so drunk that he falls off a cliff by accounts of Pitcairnian woman.Others fell to disease but not before having children with the Tahitian women.

So it ends up being one guy named John Adams who is left with up to 9 Tahitian women.They are able to populate the islands  with a culture that is influenced by its remote surroundings and plentiful fruit.This paradise of an island offers an abundance of nearly every exotic fruit on the planet and plenty of fish.It has also created a culture that has a long and dark history of child abuse.

We are able to see a history of young women, in a contained culture that live in an island paradise be subjected to rape and its almost as if the 56 or so inhabitants are absolutely fine with the idea. The disturbing history goes back generations of the half British, half Tahitian families that have managed  to accept women being dominated at a young age.Is the dramatic ,plentiful Eden-like landscape partly responsible? Or is the lack of any law enforcement a contributor as well. The culture’s acceptance of this behavior,along with its remote isolated and unique history allow us to peer into how cultures are established.The rough and troubled history of the remote island ,coupled with the blending of two existing ideologies of the British and Tahitian has developed a unique culture that answered to no one and lived secluded from the rest of the world in a society of sin, masked in paradise.

In modern times a flight into Santiago, Chile starts the journey to The Pitcairn Islands.Before you begin you need to get permission from the island,which is usually denied.If you get accepted you can take a plane to Easter Island, and then a boat to Tahiti and then another boat to Pitcairn. They have a boat that goes from Tahiti that comes 3 times a year, Making this one of the most remote and inaccessible places on Earth.

Is isolation to blame? That was the excuse of the 10 people charged with child abuse from the Island in a British Court in 2004.The British say have tried to modernize the culture of Pitcairn in hopes of changing their acceptance of this behavior.Either way these actions are accepted in indigenous cultures such as the Canela of Brazil, where the eldest men choose from prepubescent girls for their wives.Both are in remote places yet one is punished for what is most people consider despicable. Where can a line be drawn to where this type of behavior is no longer acceptable in any society.Cultures must be respected at all costs unless it undermines key morals that are universal traits.I feel that part of the responsibility lies on the British, who supposedly have control of the islands.The lack of their presence and the isolation gave men the notion that they could do anything without consequences. The women wouldn’t get involved as the men subjected young women to explicit acts and it became a part of their life,or maybe even some disgusting rite of passage, which was a way for the older women to somehow condone this behavior.Maybe the culture of Pitcairn is cursed by the actions of Christian.

Oh and by the way,it took nearly two years for Captain Bligh to return to England to give his superiors the news of the mutiny.

 

 

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