Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe

Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe

Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe

Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe

Synopsis

This is the third of four volumes on the naval, scientific, and social activities of the Imperial Russian Navy in the South Pacific. In this book, Glynn Barratt focuses on the voyages that touched on Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), Fiji, Tuvalu (formerly Ellice Islands), and Anuta.

Excerpt

This is the third volume in a series entitled Russia and the South Pacific, 1696-1840. Like the first two volumes, which deal respectively with Russian interest and dealings in Australia and in Southern and Eastern Polynesia (Easter Island, the Austral Islands, and New Zealand), this surveys the Russians' social, maritime, and scientific enterprise within a geographically delimited (but culturally varied) part of Oceania. That part is Melanesia, more specifically Vanuatu and Fiji and the Western Polynesian fringe (Tuvalu, known until lately as the Ellice Islands, and Anuta in the group of Santa Cruz). a fourth volume is planned, to cover Russian social, maritime, and scientific dealings with the Central Polynesian archipelagoes (Tahiti and the Tuamotus, the Marquesas Islands, and Tonga). Like the two preceding volumes in this series, this survey has been written for non-Russian readers but provides sufficient data in extensive notes and bibliography to meet the needs of those with special skills and interests--in Soviet archival sources, for example, for the history and language of the Lau Group in Fiji or of Tana and Aneityum, Vanuatu. It does not pretend to comprehensive treatment of the subject, long neglected in the West, of the development of Russian knowledge and activity in South Pacific waters. Nor, because it is a survey, does it stray--beyond a certain point, at least--into the thickets of linguistics or ethnology.

I have again chosen to stress those sciences pursued by Russians in the course of visits to particular localities in Oceania, and not to dwell upon the strictly naval aspects of the "cruising" (kreiserstvo) that gave rise to visits. in the cases both of Tana at the southern end of Cook's New Hebrides (today, Vanuatu) and of the Lau cluster (southern sector of the Fiji archipelago), those sciences included botany, linguistics, and hydrography. the vis-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.