This volume is the product of 25 years' cooperative effort between myself and the people of Anuta Island in the eastern Solomons. It has been a thoroughly collective enterprise; to list everyone who has contributed in some substantial way would require naming virtually every Anutan I have known. Still, a few individuals stand out for their distinctive contributions. Above all, I would like to call attention to Pu Nukumarere ( Stephen Tupaiva) and Moses Purianga, who are responsible for almost all the texts in these pages. Others who helped shape my understanding of Anutan oral history include Nau Nukumarere ( Mavin Tiriateava), Nau Pareumata ( Donna Tauraki), Pu Tokerau ( Basil Katoakitematangi), Pu Maevatau ( Edwin Taupakairo), Pu Raveiti ( John Kavaturu), Pu Pouro ( Daniel Maavae), Pu Nukuoika ( Misak Taukoroa), Pu Teukumarae ( Frank Lovejoy Katoakataina), Pu Avatere ( John Toswell Topetuiteava), and Nau Avatere ( Nolan Kiripakaaropa). I am indebted to Pu Teukumarae for his patience, discipline, insight, and encouragement in helping to transcribe Purianga's taped narratives, and to Pu Tokerau for his assistance in transcribing texts dictated by Pu Nukumarere. Additional aid in transcription was provided by Pu Avatere, Pu Penuamuri ( Joseph Poraumaatua), Pu Nukumata ( Robert Katoangamanongi), Pu Tongotere ( Mackenzie Taapipenua), and Pu Tavarei ( Robert Maruvare). Pu Teukumarae read and commented on a preliminary draft of the manuscript; and each of the aforementioned people, at one time or another, helped elucidate the many obscure passages that permeate the texts. My colleagues Niko Besnier, Greg Shreve, and Karen Watson-Gegeo provided valuable advice on points of linguistic analysis, as well as on the transcription and translation process. Absent any of these contributions, this work would be much the poorer.
Field research on which the book is based was conducted on Anuta in 1972- 73 and with Anutans in the central Solomon Islands in 1983-84, 1988, and 1993. It was sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service and the Kent State University Research Council. To both of those institutions I owe a major debt of gratitude.