Banaban Music - Archive

Traditional Banaban Music is now available from the following sources...


 Listen-Banaban-and Pacific-music-on-Banaban-Voice

Listen-Banaban-and Pacific-music-on-Banaban-Voice  






 a non commercial CD in the Anthology of Pacific Music on the Dutch PAN  label


In December 1997 and January 1998, the late Ad Linkels and his wife Lucia made live audio recordings on the island of Rabi. The main purpose was to produce two radio programmes on Rabi, its history and culture: one for the Dutch VPRO broadcasting station and one for the national VRT station in Belgium. Both programmes were broadcast June 2000.

The best of the Linkel's digital recordings - 74'55 minutes of fine music - have been published on a non commercial CD in the Anthology of Pacific Music on the Dutch PAN label. 

The Anthology of Pacific Music consists of 15 volumes with music of Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, Rapanui, Cook Islands, Fiji, Rotuma and Tuvalu. The main purpose of this series is to introduce the cultures of the Pacific islands to the Europeans. The CD "Rabi - the new home of the exiled Banabans from Ocean Island" is accompanied by a booklet (16 pages), including 12 black and white and 2 full colour pictures.

Most of the 29 tracks on the CD are dance music: Karanga, Bino, Kamei, Kabuti, Kaimatoa, Buki, Batere n Tuvalu, Taubati and contemporary entertainment dances.  Other tracks include: church choirs, lali beating, Krebwerebwe, and the Rabi National Anthem performed by the Silver Band of Buakonikai.

The other music is performed by the Banaban Dancing Group, the Rabi Dancing Group, Tekananraoi, different sectors of the Catholic Church performing during a dance competition during Christmas, the choir of the Methodist Church in Nuku, the choir of the Catholic Church in Fatima, etc.

How to order the CD? 

Visit the website of the Mundo Etnico Foundation: 

and have a look at the CD shop. It tells you all about it. The CD is the Linkel's tribute to all the kind people they met during their wonderful stay on the island.



The following Review from U.K. Society member - Garry Hawkins describes the effort that fellow U.K. member -Guy Slatter has taken in recording some of the wonderful music and entertainment we received whilst on Rabi during the recent Homecoming Trip. This is a non profit project and 20% of the sales from these CD Sales will be donated to Rabi Council of Leaders for projects back on Rabi. Our thanks to Guy for his kind fundraising gesture and hard work in putting this project together.


by Garry Hawkins UK

During the Rabi leg of the recent ‘Homecoming Trip’ in July


The late- Thomas Teai with Society Member -

 Guy Slatter during the Homecoming Trip in 1997

1997, Society Member Guy Slatter painstakingly recorded both sound and music from many of the fabulous events presented by our kind Banaban hosts. The people of Banaba, Rabi and Society Members will no doubt be pleased to hear that these recordings are now available.

A few months ago I received a surprise email from Guy to tell me that his recordings were nearing completion. I was rather stunned to be asked the question: would I like them on compact disc? Of course I would - this was something I had to see (and hear) for myself!

There are two CDs which play for over 140 minutes and each one contains three tracks. In fact, I was hearing some of these tracks for the first time. Unfortunately for much of my time on Rabi I was feeling pretty ‘crook’ and was unable to attend some of the events. If Geoff Laritz is reading this, he’ll know exactly how I felt!


1. (31min/33sec) Batere in Council Offices

The word “batere” is a term used to describe a dancing and singing session, of which there are many types. Members of the Motley Crew will remember that this track was recorded during the evening of July 3rd, in the Rabi Council Offices where everyone was billeted. The group consisted of 12 women and 4 men in 3 groups, plus a drummer (modern drums) and chorus. A total of about 30 individuals all beautifully decorated in traditional materials.

2. (30min/33sec) Tenikoraoi Maneaba

This track was recorded on the evening of July 4th, at the Tenikoraoi Roman Catholic Maneaba in Tabwewa village. This was the fundraising evening where people made a bid of a dollar or two for someone else, or some group, to stand up and make of fool of themselves. Members of our Australian contingent will remember their rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ will glowing Antipodean pride!

3. (10min/19sec) Protestant Batere

This was recorded in the Rabi Council Offices on the evening of July 7th, by members of the local Protestant church. They provided us with excellent food and entertained us with their singing and several dances.


1. (23min/33sec) Batere in Council Offices

Again this track was recorded in the evening, on July 8th. Another superb meal was supplied by the Women’s Group. We were treated to the Banaban Dance Group’s spectacular display, just before they flew off to Kiribati with us on Air Nauru.

2. (32min/40sec) Rabi High School

On track 2, the entertainment was provided by members of the school. Both ‘Motleys’ and Senior Students were ‘instructed’ by the Principal to dance to the delight of the madding crowd!

3. (14min/52sec) Kiribati Independence Day

This event took place at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. Those of us who were lucky enough to attend this event will remember not only the fabulous banquet provided but the intense ‘competition’ between the two ‘opposing’ teams of I-Kiribati singers and dancers. Some of us might even remember the taxi ride back - how many Motleys can you fit into a Suva Taxi?

What really surprised me about these recordings was the quality of the sound. Given the conditions they were recorded under and the equipment used, one might have expected background noise to be prevalent, but this is clearly NOT the case.

The recordings are very clear and I’m sure they will bring back many pleasant memories about the ‘Homecoming Trip’ for those that were there. I’m also certain that other Society Members and any other Pacificophiles reading this would be very interested in obtaining their own copy.

Guy is offering the CDs to UK members of the ‘Homecoming Trip’ at a special rate of six pounds Sterling (for both). If any other Society members would like to obtain both CDs, please would they send 30 Australian dollars (or equivalent) by cheque, payable to ‘KEN McGREGOR’. Guy has kindly offered to donate 20% of any proceeds received to the Rabi Council. A copy of the CD has already been sent to Tomati Teai on Rabi and arrangements are being made for a copy to be sent to Banaba.

Should anyone require recordings on cassette tape they will need to make their own arrangements with Guy.

You can contact Guy by post at:

Guy Slatter,

Crystal House, Menheniot, Liskeard. Cornwall. PL14 3RA.England. U.K.

or by email on:


Scott Taylor enjoying his visit to Banaba Island in 1995 

 ABC TV 'Foreign Correspondent - A Musical Journey'


This CD of music and sounds is from a range of countries visited by Scott Taylor - a sound recordist with "Foreign Correspondent' Australia. Two Banaban songs feature at the end of the CD recorded by the crew in their 1995 visit to Rabi and Banaba islands to do a story on the Banabans to celebrate their first 50 years Anniversary on Rabi island.

The songs titled -'Te Karanga' (Stick Dance) see more on the 'Te Karanga' in our Dancing page and 'Raou Era Ae Tamaroa', a Banaban Love song. This CD is distributed by EMI and is also available at all ABC Shops in Australia and New Zealand.

Royalties from this CD are being paid back to the two Banaban groups who made the recordings

For more information on the CD and snippets of the sounds available look to

ABC 'Foreign Correspondent' Web Page at:


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