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Are Torres Strait Islanders especially different from all of Australia's other Aboriginal peoples?

Why do they merit a special and separate mention?

Are all of Australia's other Aboriginal peoples much more similar to each other than to Torres Strait Islanders?

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    Wikipedia says the latter are "ethnically distinct from the Aboriginal peoples of the rest of Australia". Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 9:37
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    Off the top of my head, it's [in part] because the Eastern Torres speak a Papuan Language, not so connected to the family spoken by Aboriginals on the Australian mainland. Although the Western Torres languages are considered part of the mainland family. Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 10:13
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    There is a comparison of the two here on basic vocabulary. Not much in common. Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 10:18
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    @Fizz: (1) So are the Aboriginal peoples of the rest of Australia not ethnically distinct from each other? (2) The languages spoken by the Aboriginal peoples on mainland Australia are also of many different families. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australian_language_families.png
    – user103496
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 10:21
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    It could simply be that the term Aboriginal people had acquired a well defined meaning at the time the terminology was adopted that did not unambiguously include Torres Straight Islanders, whether or not this terminology corresponded to any meaningful difference in reality.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 19:44

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