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Malaita : A Pictorial History from Solomon Islands (Paperback) (Ben Burt)
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Malaita traces the history and culture of a Pacific island from the 19th to 21st centuries through over 600 images drawn from the archives of the British Museum and public and private photographic collections around the world. This book explores Malaita as it was represented to the wider world through photographs, artefacts, maps and drawings over a period of 150 years. Malaitans have been portrayed as exotic natives and migrant workers, as Christian converts and colonial subjects, and as ordinary people leading a distinctive way of life in a rapidly changing society. The colonisation of Malaita through the work of missions, government and business in the early twentieth century, the upheavals of the Second World War and the economic and political developments that followed were documented in thousands of photos. Thousands more were made by anthropologists researching detailed studies of local culture in the second half of the 20th century. As Malaitans migrated to neighbouring Guadalcanal to participate in the commercial development of Solomon Islands, a civil conflict in the early 21st century was followed by renewed efforts to build upon their ancestral culture for the peaceful development of their island. This book is an image-led and accessible narrative that provides fascinating new insights into the history of a Pacific island and will be an essential reference for researchers, students and general readers with an interest in the anthropology and history of Melanesia and the Pacific Islands.