Thursday, August 11, 2022

History Of Vanuatu

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Vanuatu’s prehistory is unknown; archaeological evidence suggests that people speaking Austronesian languages initially arrived on the islands about 3,300 years ago. Pottery pieces ranging from 1300–1100 BC have been discovered.

The Vanuatu group of islands first came into contact with Europeans in 1606, when the Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, sailing for the Spanish Crown, arrived on the largest island and named the group La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, or “The Southern Land of the Holy Spirit,” believing he had arrived in Terra Australis, or Australia. The Spanish built a short-lived colony at Big Bay on the island’s north side. The name Espiritu Santore is still used today.

Europeans did not return to the islands until 1768, when Louis Antoine de Bougainville found them. Captain Cook called the islands the New Hebrides in 1774, a designation that lasted until the islands gained independence in 1980.

The merchant Peter Dillon found sandalwood on the island of Erromango in 1825, sparking a surge of immigration that stopped in 1830, after a conflict between newcomers and Polynesian labor. Planters in Australia, Fiji, New Spain, and the Samoan Islands needed laborers during the 1860s, so they promoted a long-term bonded labor trade known as “blackbirding.” During the peak of the labor trade, more than half of the adult male population of many of the islands worked in other countries. Fragmentary evidence suggests that Vanuatu’s present population is much less than it was before contact.

Catholic and Protestant missionaries from Europe and North America visited the islands in the nineteenth century to engage with the locals. For example, John Geddie, a Scots-Canadian Presbyterian missionary, landed to the island of Aneityum in 1848 and spent the rest of his life there, converting the people to Christianity and western habits. John Gibson Paton was a Scottish missionary who spent his whole life in the area.

Settlers arrived in search of land for cotton plantations. Planters moved to coffee, cocoa, bananas, and, most effectively, coconuts when worldwide cotton prices fell. Initially, the bulk of immigrants were British subjects from Australia, but the formation of the Caledonian Company of the New Hebrides in 1882 drew more French subjects. By the turn of the twentieth century, the French outnumbered the British by a factor of two.

The jumble of French and British interests in the islands resulted in calls for one of the two countries to annexe the area. France and the United Kingdom agreed to share administration of the islands in 1906. It was a one-of-a-kind system of government known as the British-French Condominium. Only in a combined court did the different governing systems come together. Melanesians were not allowed to become citizens of either power.

The early 1940s saw the emergence of challenges to this system of governance. The entrance of Americans after WWII, with their informal customs and relative affluence, aided the development of nationalism among the islands. An indigenous cargo cult (a movement trying to acquire industrial products via magic) promising Melanesian salvation was founded on belief in a legendary messianic person called John Frum. John Frum is now a religion as well as a political party with a member in Parliament.

The New Hebrides National Party was the first political party to be formed in the early 1970s. Father Walter Lini, who subsequently became Prime Minister, was one of the founders. The Vanua’aku Pati, renamed in 1974, campaigned for independence, which was won during the short Coconut War.

Vanuatu’s independence as a republic was declared in 1980.

Vanuatu had a period of political instability in the 1990s, which resulted in a more decentralized administration. A salary disagreement prompted the Vanuatu Mobile Force, a paramilitary organization, to attempt a coup in 1996. There were accusations of corruption under Maxime Carlot Korman’s administration. Since 1997, new elections have been called numerous times, most recently in 2004.

How To Travel To Vanuatu

By boat Port-Vila on the island of Efate and Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo are Vanuatu's major ports.P&O Trips offers frequent cruises through Vanuatu's seas.Tallship Soren Larsen, +64 9 817 8799, sails from Fiji to Port Vila and Santo once a year to explore the northern Banks Islands....

How To Travel Around Vanuatu

By plane There are a few charter airlines, including Unity Airlines, Sea Air, and Air Safaris, but the domestic network is operated by the government airline, Air Vanuatu. Several businesses in Vanuatu provide watercraft services between the islands. Fresh Cargo, Ifira Shipping Agencies, and Toara Coastal Shipping are among them. By bus Buses...

Destinations in Vanuatu

Regions in Vanuatu Vanuatu's islands are divided into six geographic provinces, with names derived by combining the initial syllables or letters of the main islands in each. TorbaTorres Islands and Banks Islands Sanma (Luganville)Espiritu Santo and Malo PenamaPentecost/Pentecote, Ambae and Maewo MalampaMalakula, Ambrym and Paama Shefa (Port-Vila)Shepherd Group and Efate TafeaTanna, Aniwa, Futuna, Erromango and Aneityum/Anatom Matthew and Hunter...

Accommodation & Hotels in Vanuatu

There are several levels of lodging available. Resort The most popular and biggest of the resorts is Le Lagon. It has been in operation for more than 30 years. It provides significant discounts for children, so there are a lot of youngsters visiting during the Australian school vacations. Iririki Island is a...

Things To See in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is not on the typical traveller's bucket list. Except for those who like scuba diving, since divers have long found the underwater riches of this South Pacific island. Even if you don't intend to swim in the country's clear blue seas, it's a vibrant blend of traditional Melanesian...

Food & Drinks in Vanuatu

Food in Vanuatu There are many restaurants and cafes in Port Vila, ranging from high-end businesses catering to visitors and expatriates to more casual options. Lunch will cost you between 1000 and 1500 vatu, depending on where you dine and what you eat. Lap-Lap The typical meal, lap lap, is a root...

Money & Shopping in Vanuatu

The Vatu is the native money (VT). (The ISO 4217 code for it is VUV.) 100VT is now worth about 0.94 USD, 1.25 AUD, 1.40 NZD, or 0.84 EUR as of March 2016. There are notes in denominations of 200 VT, 500 VT, 1000 VT, and 5000 VT, as...

Traditions & Customs in Vanuatu

Throughout Vanuatu, and particularly in the communities outside of Port Vila, life is heavily affected by "kastom" – a collection of ancient traditions and taboos that apply to a wide range of issues. Be mindful of this and heed residents' demands for "kastom." When visiting villages, ladies should dress modestly,...

Language & Phrasebook in Vanuatu

The official languages are English, French, and Bislama. Bislama is a pidgin language – and now a creole in urban areas – that blends a characteristically Melanesian syntax with a mostly English vocabulary. It is the sole language that the whole Vanuatu population understands and speaks, usually as a...

Internet & Communications in Vanuatu

Telephone Vanuatu's international country code is +678. To call someone in another country from Vanuatu, dial 00 followed by the appropriate country code and phone number. Ambulance (22-100), Fire (22-333), and Police (22-333) are the emergency phone numbers (22-222). GSM mobile coverage is available in Port-Vila, Vanuatu, and most GSM...

Culture Of Vanuatu

Vanuatu culture maintains a high level of variety due to local regional differences and international influence. Vanuatu is split into three cultural areas. Wealth in the north is determined by how much one can give away, as determined by a grade-taking system. Pigs, especially those with rounded tusks, are...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Vanuatu

Before visiting Vanuatu, it is recommended that you get immunized against Hepatitis A and B, as well as typhoid fever. Malaria is prevalent in certain parts of Vanuatu but not in Port-Vila. If you want to go outside of the resort regions, consult with your doctor beforehand. Malaria may not...



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