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Acclimatising to Higher Ground (Paperback)

The Realities of Life of a Pacific Atoll People

World History > Australia & the Pacific

Imprint: Sidestone Press
Pages: 260
Illustrations: 12fc
ISBN: 9789464260298
Published: 28th December 2021
Casemate UK Academic

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Life for people on atolls is hard, affected by droughts, rough seas and other adverse climatic conditions, and now, rise in sea level threatens their very inhabitance. No wonder kinship is the foundation of atoll societies, traditional and modern! This book presents a multidisciplinary, retrospective analysis of a Pacific Atoll People living in several countries but held together as a diaspora through notions of kinship.


The People have ancestral, cultural, social and continuing residential connections with Nikunau Atoll, at the centre of the Pacific Ocean and once a Cinderella of the British Empire. The analysis explicates their present diasporic circumstances and the pathways through which these arose historically. The intention is to provide a basis for better prospects for succeeding generations from a critical, better-informed standpoint.


The analysis relies on the partisan stance of the author, whose kinship ties with I-Nikunau (= people who identify with Nikunau) are affinal, and his 30-year immersion among the People in question. In addition, a large quantity of literature sources and other secondary data are woven into the analysis, as situations and events are grappled with, articulated, interpreted and written into the book.


The circumstances are analysed under 14 themes, namely, geographical, demographical, economic, environmental, cultural, societal, etc. The analysis should stir the waters of recent research about Nikunau and Kiribati, much of it concerned with environmental changes making uninhabitable Nikunau, Tarawa and other atolls where I-Nikunau reside, and imagining their resettlement on higher ground, for example, New Zealand, where several diasporic communities exist already.


This recent research refers frequently to the social, cultural and economic matters covered in this book, indicating how relevant and important these matters are to the future of I-Nikunau and I-Kiribati. Furthermore, this relevance and importance may apply to the future of other peoples still inhabiting the world’s atolls and facing whatever challenges this future may bring, climate-related and otherwise.


Abstract in Gilbertese


Te Abam’akoro ae Nikunau, e riki inanon ana tai Te Tia Karikib’ai ae Nareau ngke e tabe n anenea kunana ni katabwenaa te Boo ma Te Maaki. Mai ikanne ao a tia ni maeka anti ma aomata ma aomata ake a bungiaki iaona. A m’akuriia abaia b’a ana toronib’ai man inaomata ao ni kukurei. Kaaro ma tiibu a wantongaia ataei karakinan Nikunau, katein Nikunau ao karinean tuan M’aneaban Nikunau. Rikiaia naba kain Nikunau b’a te boborau n taai akekei ni karokoa ngkai. Te nako Tarawa, Nutiran, Buritan ao ai aaba aika raroa nako. Ana kamateb’ai Te -Imatang aei e boboto iaon karakinan te I-Nikunau ma ana kakam’akuri ma ana waaki iaon abana ae Nikunau AO ni boboto riki iaon m’am’a nangaia nakon aaba ake itinanikun Nikunau ike a riki b’a ianena ao tera aroia ni kakam’akuri mani waaki ngkai ai te naan I-Abatera ngaiia.


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