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In the land of strangers : a century of European contact with Tanna, 1774-1874

CollectionsANU Pacific Institute
ANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: In the land of strangers : a century of European contact with Tanna, 1774-1874
Other Titles: European contact with Tanna, 1774-1874
Author(s): Adams, Ron
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
Series/Report no.: The Australian National University, Pacific Research Monograph: No. 09
The first century of contact between Europeans and the people of Tanna, in the group formerly called the New Hebrides and now known as Vanuatu, was characterized by mutual misunderstanding, distrust and hostility. To most European observers, the Tannese were something less than human - bestial and bloodthirsty. To the Tannese, the Europeans were something more than human - if not returned ancestors, at least in close call with the all-important spiritual realm. In terms of their preconceptions, each side was given ample proof of the other's treachery, and Tannese-European relations during the first hundred years revolved around attempts by each side to control the other. As this study shows, the result was inconclusive, and Tanna entered its second century of contact with Europe with a reputation as dark, but a spirit as unrepentant, as at any time in its past.


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