Barratt, Glynn R. - Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe

Titel: Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe (Russia and the South Pacific, 1696-1840 #3)
ISBN: 9780774803380
Taal: Engels
Uitgever: University of British Columbia Press
Bijzonderheden: 1990, hardcover with dust jacket, good copy
Prijs: € 10,50
Verzendkosten: € 4,15 (binnen Nederland)
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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.

As in the other books in the series, Barratt has made full use of both modern and archival sources in describing the sites and people the visitors encountered. Emphasizing the Russians' scientific work in botany, linguistics, ethnography, and hydrography rather than the voyages as such, he describes the visits by Captain Vasilii Mikhailovich Golovnin in 1809 to Tana, at the southern end of New Hebrides, and by Captain Faddei F. Bellingshausen to Ono-i-Lau, Fiji, in 1820, and the Vasil'ev-Shismarev encounters in 1820 with the Polynesians settled on the atoll of Nukufetau, Ellice Islands, and in 1822 with another isolated group of Polynesian speakers on Anuta.

The visit by Golovnin's ship Diana to Tana followed a particularly dramatic voyage, and Tana was deliberately chosen as a secret resting spot. Here the Russians, after making contact with an elder by the name of Gunama, bartered for some forty feet of sugarcane, some four hundred coconuts, and yams. Tannese weaponry and artefacts were also brought on board, and full notes were taken on the evidence of tribal warfare, social structure, navigation, husbandry and diet, clothing, ornament, and language.

In underscoring the splendid naval tradition of the Russian empire, Barratt dispels the myth that the Russians were landlubbers. He points out that they made contact with native populations in many areas of the South Pacific and that, in some places, the Russian influence was not inconsiderable.

Of particular interest is also Barratt's analysis of the drawings executed by staff artists of the various expeditions, especially those by Mikhailov.
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Barratt, Glynn R. - Melanesia and the Western Polynesian Fringe (Russia and the South Pacific, 1696-1840 #3)