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Logs in the current of the sea : Neli Lifuka's story of Kioa and the Vaitupu colonists

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Logs in the current of the sea : Neli Lifuka's story of Kioa and the Vaitupu colonists
Author(s): Lifuka, Neli
Date published: 1978
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
"People without a leader are like logs in the current of the sea; they don't know where to go." Neli Lifuka is totally candid and colorful as he describes his conventional childhood on Vaitupu in the Territory of Tuvalu (until 1975 the Ellice Island Group), his early education and travels, his first job as an engine-room hand on a phosphate cargo ship, his experiences with American marines in World War II, and his crucial role in the unprecedented purchase of Kioa Island (just off Fiji) in 1946. Klaus-Friedrich Koch visited Kioa for the first time 20 years later. Fascinated by the story of Old Man Neli's adventures and the difficulties encountered in the settlement of Kioa by the Vaitupuan colonists, he arranged to return as soon as he could with a notebook and recording equipment. This book is an edited transcript of Neli{u2019}s autobiography, supplemented by an introduction and a legal analysis of the conflict between Polynesian customs and British colonialadministrative law which bewildered Vaitupu and Kioa for a great many years. Professor H.E. Maude has written the foreword to this unusual chapter in Pacific history. Distinguished as historian and administrator, Professor Maude was Resident Commissioner in charge of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony at the time of the Kioa purchase.


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