Australian South Sea Islanders are the Australian-born descendants of predominantly Melanesian people who were brought to Queensland between 1863 and 1904 from 80 Pacific Islands, but primarily Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
Australian South Sea Islanders are not indigenous to this…
Bob and his boy Jeff. Rah Lava Island, Banks Islands, TORBA Province, Vanuatu
The men of Rah Island (and boys) are experts at something that you’re not likely to see in too many parts of the world. When the tide is low, the crystal clear water around the reef allows them to see the fish and to shoot them with the same kind of bow and arrow that they hunt bats and birds with. One of the festivals on Rah Island includes this kind of traditional “fishing” competition, where a whole bunch of fish are rounded up with a long net and the competitors shoot as many as they can.
The little dude in this image is Bob’s son – Jeff. At 5 years of age he climbs coconut trees just like his dad, runs around like crazy and spits small berries from bamboo tubes at passing birds and bats. Quite a character.
For families who can’t afford to send all their children to school, the choice can be unbearable. Many villages do not have secondary schools and in some cases students need to travel to other parts of the Island or in the majority of cases having to attend boarding school on another Island away from their families and community. School fees range from between 50,000VT ($500AUD) to 90,000VT ($900AUD) per year.
Mota Lava Island, Banks Islands, TORBA Province, Vanuatu
Saron returning from her family’s garden with the village dog. Vanuatu is one of the greatest agricultural societies on the planet, every family has a garden and every village family lives from one. The gardens are usually located somewhere in the bush and almost daily a family member will venture out there in order to tend to the crops or to bring some produce back home.