On Fiji Islands
In little more than a century, Fiji islanders have made the transition from cannibalism to Christianity, from colony to flourishing self-government (1970) in a variegated society. Theirs is a Third World success story; they have accepted some aspects of Western civilization without losing essential values of their own culture. Anthropologist Wright (Cut Stones and Crossroads here explores how this bridge was achieved. He went to the Islands with a fellow Canadian who had previously worked there on an archeological project. They toured city and countryside, observing village life and taking part in communal ceremonies. On his own, Wright visited Rabi, where the Banabans resettled after their home, Ocean Island, was dug from under them (for phosphate fertilizer); and he went to Bau, a sacred island. He attributes the remarkable state of affairs in Fiji to the fact that the natives have kept their social structure intact, and they have retained ownership of 83% of the land. Part travel memoir, part history and anthropology, this is a compelling story. Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. area studies/trav Within the last 150 years, Fiji, the original "Cannibal Islands," has been colonized and Christianized and has seen a huge importation of Indian laborers. Despite all these dramatic changes, the Fijians have retained their own land and culture. Intrigued by this unique history, anthropologist Wright traveled extensively throughout the Islands, visiting both cities bustling with Indian merchants and quiet Fijian villages in the remote interior. He vividly describes his experiences. However, this is not just a travel book but a weaving of contemporary impressions with underlying history. Wright feels that it is impossible to understand current Fijian culture and problems without a grasp of the past. The result is a compelling combination of travelogue and history book. An excellent bibliography is appended. Judith Nixon, Purdue Univ. Libs., W. Lafayette, Ind.Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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- Viking Adult; Open market ed edition (July 21, 1986)
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