Banaban Book Reviews

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                                                     NOW AVAILABLE!


                "TE RII NI BANABA" - The Backbone of Banaba -

                                       by Raobeia K. Sigrah & S. M. King


                                         (To read Book Reviews - Click here!)


Te Rii ni Banaba (the backbone of Banaba) is a history of the people of Banaba, through their genealogies, myths, legends, customs, culture, sports, music, dance, totems, and magic rituals.  The authors discuss anthropological, archaeological, and linguistic evidence that point to the uniqueness of the Banaban people.

Te Rii ni Banaba, which brings to light new research, including long kept secrets of the te Aka clan, and the successive invasions of Banaba. The Auriaria established Tabwewa District and their customs were distinct from those of the people who preceded them.  Nei Anginimaeao's arrival led to new boundaries and the introduction of new rights, resulting in the emergence of a different culture again.  Then the I-Matang arrived.  First, White beachcombers, blackbirders, whalers, and missionaries came, followed by miners.  The Japanese occupied the island during World War II.  Mining and war led to displacement of the Banaban people, who were twice exiled from their homeland - first to Kosrae, Nauru, and Tarawa during the war, then to Rabi (Fiji) afterward.  Always remote and now decimated form mining, Banaba remains in the hearts of all Banabans who still retain their original culture, as detailed in this book.

Raobeia Ken Sigrah is a Banaban, born and schooled on Rabi and elsewhere in Fiji.  His elders educated him on Banaban genealogies, myths, legends and customs.  He danced, sand, and played Banaba's living culture as he grew up.  He has worked for the Rabi Council of Leaders and represented Banabans in cultural performance abroad.  Until now, he has carried much of this knowledge in his head, utilizing this information in his role as clan spokesman.

Stacy M. King, called Nei Titeiti Naking by the Banabans, hails from an Australian family, who for four generations, were involved with the phosphate mining industry on Banaba.  Led by family interest, she conducted her own research, visiting Rabi for the first time in 1991.  She began to publish Banaba/Ocean Island New in 1992 and in 1993 formed the Banaban Heritage Society Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of history and bettering the lives of the Banaban people. 

Together Sigrah and King have built a vast collection of original documents and research material, and interviewed people who have lived and worked on Banaba.  All the Banaban clans involved in this history have sanctioned their work for this book.  With the elders permission, Sigrah and King's findings are now finally published.  Te Rii ni Banaba offers not only traditional knowledge, but also research.  Its vast number of pictures and diagrams show the essence of Banaba. The book is essential reading for Banabans and all people interested in Banaba's story.



D. Stanley's - Moon Mandbooks: Fiji, Published by Avalon Travel Publishing, Latest Edition 2001.

Now a new Pacific Web Site by David Stanley at South Pacific Organizer

Fiji Fantastic! Friendly Fiji, where Melanesia mixes with Polynesia, ancient India with Oceania, and tradition with the modern world. You have in your hands the original-and still the best-detailed, reliable guide to this 322-island archipelago, crossroads and throbbing heart of the South Pacific.

The latest edition of this great travel book has just been released and has up to date details on travelling to Rabi Island in Fiji. This is the only travel book we've seen to include details on Rabi Island.       To order from Amazon Books


                                  ARCHIVAL & HISTORICAL DOCUMENT

                                                 Empire Books U.K.

For one of the most comprehensive collections of historical and Colonial documents relating to United Kingdom and its role in Pacific History can be found with rare book dealer Colin Hinchcliffe at Empire Books U.K. Material selected from their catalogue can be posted anywhere in the world.

Contact Colin Hinchcliffe at EMPIRE BOOKS


 by Charles Wooley

Charles Wooley recounts his most memorable stories during his World travels as journalist with the Australian '60 Minutes' Television Program. He dedicates a chapter called - EXILES IN PARADISE to the Banabans, after his visit to meet the community on Rabi Island in the October of 1993. Charles travelled to Rabi to do a story on the Banabans for the '60 Minutes' program. He was so taken back by the hospitality of the Banaban people and their desire to one day return to the homeland, that he has considered his visit to Rabi and his subsequent flight over the devastated Banaban homeland island as one of the most unforgettable stories of his career. His book can be obtained through all leading Book Stores and is published in Australia by Random House Publications. R.R.P. : $16.50





by Harry & Honor Maude


When the had to leave their ancestral homeland as a result of the devastation caused by the phosphate mining industry they settled on the island of Rabi in Fiji.

Unfortunately the traumatic upheavals which the community has been trough since the beginning of the century, and particularly since the Japanese occupation, have resulted in an understandable loss of confidence and a questioning of their identity and future. The Rabi born, in particular, have little conception of their rich historical heritage and former culture.

This book, therefore, has been prepared to provide the present and future generations of Rabi islanders with all that has been recorded of their former way of life on Banaba from the time their forbears first settled it over a thousand years ago and created a prosperous, self-supporting and happy society numbering several thousand.

The work will be of interest as well to a wider readership since it is the first to detail the settlement of an isolated Pacific Island, the development on it over the centuries of a community superbly integrated into its unique environment, and its final reluctant abandonment owing to external pressures beyond their control.

This is the last book written by Professor Harry Maude in a career that has spanned more than eighty years. Harry is the man responsible for buying Rabi Island for the Banabans. To order this great book contact Linda Crowl, at the Institute of Pacific Studies, at the University of the South Pacific.



                                              STRATEGIC ATOLLS - Tuvalu and the Second World War

by Peter McQuarrie

Peter McQuarrie has now completed his history of Tuvalu during the period of the Pacific War, 1942 - 1945. He documents the events of the war and explores their implications through the eyes of indigenous Tuvaluans and occupying forces. The publication of the book in December 1994 is timely , given the 50th. Anniversary of many important World War II events.

The book is published jointly by the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies and the Institute of Pacific

Studies in Suva.

To order this book via Institute of Pacific Studies, at the University of the South Pacific  Order Now 



Neil Levy's - Moon Handbooks: Micronesia, Published by Avalon Travel Publishing,

 Latest Edition 2000

Undiscovered Isles. Still undiscovered by all but a fortunate few, the four vast archipelagoes of Micronesia between Hawaii and the Philippines are an island-hopper's paradise. Micronesia Handbook was the first- and is still the best-comprehensive, reliable source of information on all the seven territories of Micronesia - not just the hot spots. Author Neil Levy - a well known authority on Pacific law - takes you from gateway Guam to the remotest Pacific atoll- a Pacific adventure all your own. This travel book of Neil's covers in detail the Banabans homeland of Banaba. His book also covers one of the most important aspects of travelling in this region - the local customs. 

For more information, visit Micronesia Handbook



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