Pitcairn Island is a tiny island in the pacific ocean with a population of only 50.This island is famous for its history of how this island was occupied by people and is also the smallest population of any democracy in the world.
Location of Pitcairn Island:
Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean named: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands in which only Pitcairn,which is around 3.6km in size is the inhibited island.They exists at a position so that even in the globe they are faaaar apart from the American or Australian continents and hidden within the ocean.
History of Pitcairn Island:
Polynesians are believed to have lived in this island up to 15th century.Later, Europeans discovered the island in 17th century by that time the island was uninhibited.But, the longitude of this newly discovered island was set wrongly (by a distance of about 330 km).This made the island still hidden from outer world.
Mutiny on the Bounty:
Bounty was British Royal navy vessel captained by William Bligh for transporting breadfruit plants from Tahiti . Bounty had left England in 1787 and reached Tahiti by October 1788.Crew members had a 5 months stay in Tahiti during which many of the crew lived ashore and formed relationships with native .But captain Bligh felt this was a disrespectful behavior from his crew and he restored to harsh punishment to his crew.This made the relationship between captain and his crews to be shattered a lot.Hence, on the way back to home from Tahiti the crew members started a mutiny in Bounty under the leadership of Fletcher Christian and it ended up in Bligh and his loyalist from being send out of Bounty in a smaller boat.
Bligh later took 43 days of journey in this small boat to reach Timor with limited amount of food and demotivated crew and survived only with his sailing experience.Meanwhile,Christian took bounty and mutineers back to Tahiti,but chief of Tahiti didn’t accept Christian now as it would turn British army against Tahitians.Since Christian was sure that British army would be coming soon after him and his friends for taking Bounty going back was never an option for Christian.So Christian captured some Tahitian women and men and traveled in search of a place to settle.But, in most of the islands they found, they had to fight with natives and at last leave the place.By 15th January 1790 Christian found Pitcairn island(which was 384 km apart from British records),So they decided to stay in Pitcairn as it was tougher for Britishers to find them.More over the island was uninhibited and with lot of food and water.But,to protect them from being found out they put Bounty on fire and thus lost all hopes of returning back to homeland and ended up settling in the middle of Pacific Ocean.
Settlement of Mutineers in Pitcairn Island:
Initial days of settlement was very peaceful between Tahitians and Europeans.But, soon riot occurred between each other and finally it resulted in killing all the Tahitian men and mutineers including Christian.Only 2 of the mutineers survived- Adams and Young.Both of them gave education to next generation and led a small ‘civilization’ .By 1810 Britishers found this island and 46 people in it all descendant of the mutineers.
Pitcairn Island became a British colony in 1838,and was among the first territories to extend voting rights to women. By the mid-1850, the Pitcairn community was outgrowing the island. Its leaders appealed to the British government for assistance, and were offered Norfolk Island. In 1856 the entire population of 193 people set sail for Norfolk . However, after 18 months on Norfolk, 17 of the Pitcairners decided to return to their home island; five years later another 27 followed, The population peaked at 233 in 1937 and has since fallen owing to emigration, primarily to New Zealand.In 2014,Pitcairn Island had a population of 56.
Life in Pitcairn Island:
The entire population is Seventh-day Adventist Christians and speak language called Pitkern a language derived from 18th-century English and Tahitian language.They use New Zealand Dollar as currency and are have a timezone of UTC + 8.
Recently in news:
The island was recently in news when in 2004 sexual assault trial was against 7 men in Island including the major of the Island.This was nearly one-third of the population of islands working force.
Future of Pitcairn Island:
This island is probably heading towards extinction as they are not able to find enough workforce.
Some interesting Facts:
- To travel to Pitcairn one needs to fly from Auckland in New Zealand to Tahiti,( five hours) take another flight from Tahiti to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands ( 2 1/2 hours) and then travel on to Pitcairn Island by boat, (32 hours).
- Fletcher Christian named his son(first child born on Pitcairn)-‘Thursday October Christian’ thinking he was born on Thursday.But, in reality the child was born on Friday since Bounty crossed the International Date Line.