On Fiji Islands

Ronald Wright, Author Viking Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-80634-8
In little more than a century, Fiji islanders have made the transition from cannibalism to Christianity, from colony to flourishing self-government (1970) in a variegated society. Theirs is a Third World success story; they have accepted some aspects of Western civilization without losing essential values of their own culture. Anthropologist Wright (Cut Stones and Crossroads here explores how this bridge was achieved. He went to the Islands with a fellow Canadian who had previously worked there on an archeological project. They toured city and countryside, observing village life and taking part in communal ceremonies. On his own, Wright visited Rabi, where the Banabans resettled after their home, Ocean Island, was dug from under them (for phosphate fertilizer); and he went to Bau, a sacred island. He attributes the remarkable state of affairs in Fiji to the fact that the natives have kept their social structure intact, and they have retained ownership of 83% of the land. Part travel memoir, part history and anthropology, this is a compelling story. (July 21)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1986
Release date: 07/01/1986
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-14-009551-7
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