Pacific Island Books
Arts of Vanuatu.
Edited by Joël Bonnemaison, Kirk Huffman, Christian Kaufmann and Durrell
Tryon. Recommended retail price $79.
Arts of Vanuatu is a comprehensive, authoritative, beautifully illustrated
guide to the arts of this fascinating South Pacific archipelago. There is little
doubt that this book will become a classic. Hard cover, 338 pages.
Big Wok: Storian
Blong Wol Wo Tu Long Vanuatu edited by Lamont Lindstrom and James Gwero. Recommended
retail price $20.
World War II’s beginnings; Australians, Japanese and Americans; cargo, airfields,
roads, telephones, ships, hospitals, canteens, mosquitoes; trouble among workmen,
women and Indochinese; the New Hebrides Defense Force; equipment, planes, submarines
and bombs; medicine, money, music, cinema and sport; John Frum Movement; and changes
from the War. Written in Pidgin.
Long Mei, 1942, plante bigfala wosip oli kam insaed Vila Haba, mo laef blong ol
pipol long Vanuatu I stat jenis. Long Wol Wo Tu plante samting I happen we I impoten
tumas long histry blong Vanuatu. Wo I jenisim plante ples olbaot long Vanuatu
mo I jenisim laef blong olgeta man mo woman long evri aelan long kantri. Olfala
blong yumi oli save gud Wol Wo Tu, be plante oli lus finis. Bitim 140 man mo woman
blong olbaot long Vanuatu oli storian long taem blong wo insaed long buk ya. Soft
cover, 308 pages.
Birds of Vanuatu
by Heinrich Bregulla. Recommended retail price $75, our price $60.
This superb book is a labor of love by the author Heinrich Bregulla. He originally
went to Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) in 1959. His intended stay of nine
months extended to twenty years in the region. Although he started as a collector
for museums, Herr Bregulla soon realized the fragility of island faunas and turned
his attention to observation and conservation. It was his enthusiasm and field
experience that led to the publication of this book (together with the substantial
German Aid which made it possible).
Birds of Vanuatu contains a checklist and detailed notes on identification,
behavior, habitat, breeding and distribution for the 121 species known to have
occurred there. It is essential reading for anyone planning a trip to Vanuatu
and a useful addition to any ornithologist’s library. I recommend it highly and
lament the fact that I encountered this book too late to include it in the bibliography
of Fiji’s Natural Heritage. Hard cover, 294 pages.
A New by Terry Crowley. Recommended retail price $26.
A New Bislama Dictionary reflects the current vocabulary of Bislama, the
national language of Vanuatu. It provides up-to-date spelling, usage and translations.
Spellings follow principles endorsed by the Bislama Spelling Committee of the
Literacy Association of Vanuatu. This dictionary is an essential tool for everyone
in Vanuatu and others who use or study its language.
Terry Crowley has conducted linguistic research in Vanuatu for almost 20 years.
He is a former staff member of the University of the South Pacific, having taught
at the Pacific Languages Unite, Port Vila. He has written Beach-la-Mar to Bislama:
The emergence of a national language in Vanuatu, as well as a grammar and a dictionary
of the language of Paama. He is writing a grammar and a dictionary of the language
of Erromango. Soft cover, 484 pp.
Diving and Snorkeling
Guide to Vanuatu by Bob Bowdey, Judy Beaty, and Brian Ansell. Recommended
retail price $14.95, our price $14.50.
Vanuatu is one of the world’s exotic dive destinations. On the edge of the Coral
Sea it provides some spectacular diving. This book covers a variety of dive sites
from the challenge of the S.S President Coolidge, the world’s largest divable
World War II wreck at 654 feet in length to snorkel sites that anyone can manage
comfortably. As usual with these Pisces Guides the photos are excellent. A must
for anyone traveling to Vanuatu. Soft cover, 92 pages.
Doctor in Vanuatu: A Memoir by Dr. E. A. (Ted) Freeman. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9789820203808. Recommended retail price.
For seven years in the 1960s, Ted Freeman was the doctor in charge of the main practicing and training hospital of the New Hebrides – what is today Vanuatu.
In what was the tin-roofed, wooden-walled Paton Memorial Hospital on Iririki Island, now the splendid location of the Iririki Island Resort, he treated everything from broken bones to meningitis, rheumatic fever and TB – when necessary operating with a medical text propped on a lectern installed over an archaic ex US-army operating table and by torch-light. Traveling, queasily, in small boats and planes, Ted visited and assisted the even more remote hospitals and clinics on the outer islands. With his endlessly supportive wife, Dorothy, a young family and a largely local support team he
worked to heal and mend and to improve the medical skills and resources in what was then a remote corner of the South Pacific. An appointee of the Australian Presbyterian Board of Mission, Ted established a blood bank, updated anaesthetic procedures, taught birth-control – and came a poor second in the Iririki Cup Challenge…
This evocative and amusing memoir brings to life the challenges, joys and frustrations of living and working in the Pacific. In 2004 Ted Freeman was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to medicine. Soft cover, 204 pages. Published in 2006.
Land Tenure In
Vanuatu edited by Peter Larmour. Recommended retail price $10.
Land tenure always presents problems in developing societies. Land tenure in Vanuatu
discusses all aspects of land ownership in this multicultural Pacific Island nation.
Soft cover, 87 pages.
Pentecost: An Island
in Vanuatu by Genevieve Mescam with photographs by Denis Coulombier.
Recommended retail price $12.
Pentecost Island is known mainly for its land divers ... the original bungy jumpers.
Author Mescam looks at the culture and arts and crafts in this unusual book. Pentecost
supports three main societies, each having its own characteristics and making
up an entity quite distinct from its neighbors.
The motifs illustrating the text are taken from the mats of the area which are
objects of both art and value. They are woven and dyed by complex processes and
form an important part of social ceremonial exchanges. Pentecost is recommended
for everyone with an interest in Pacific arts and crafts and is a must for anyone
planning to visit Pentecost. Soft cover, 59 pp.
Click here for illustration
from Pentecost. (32.89K)
Click here for photos from
The Making of a
Rebel: Captain Donald Macleod of the New Hebrides by Katherine Stirling Kerr
Cawsey. Recommended retail price $45.
Tarred as a blackbirder, Donald Macleod participated in settlement and trading
in the Pacific Islands from 1868 until his death in 1894. Although he did participate
in the labour trade, he has been unfairly maligned in history books. British and
French colonialists, anxious to achieve political ends, used Macleod as a whipping
boy, as did the New Hebrides Mission. After extensive research, his great niece,
Katherine Stirling Kerr Cawsey, found that Macleod enjoyed a good reputation among
Islanders, settlers, traders and some colonial officials and missionaries; he
was not the villain that many others had painted him. This book offers hitherto
unknown data about trading conditions and Islander participation and revelatory
discussion of the politics of the day, as well as an intimate portrait of a survivor
in a rough and controversial era. Soft cover. 589 pp.
Denis O’Byrne and David Harcombe. Published by Lonely
Planet Publications. ISBN 0-86442-660-7. Recommended retail price $14.95,
our price $14.50.
Vanuatu is a fascinating Melanesian destination. From the roaring volcano Yasur
on Tanna to the urban French sophistication of Port Vila, Vanuatu should be on
the itinerary of any seasoned traveler. Paddy well remembers the joy of driving
around the island of Efate and lunching on a French bread stick, Camembert cheese
and vin rouge … not the normal fare of the South Pacific. The authors have done
the usual thorough Lonely Planet Guide job and Vanuatu is highly recommended.
Soft cover, 304 pages.
Click on links below for
Stone I and II by Grace Mera Molisa
and Perceptions of France in the South Pacific: New Caledonia and Vanuatu
by Peter Myriam Dornoy-Vurobaravu
Pacific Islands by Joan Beard
Pacific Islands, Nelles Guide by Michael Brillat
Thanks for visiting Pacific