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Cavorting with Cannibals:
An Exploration of Vanuatu
By Rick Williamson
This is modern explorer's tale of living among the primitive peoples in the Vanuatu island chain of Melanesia. On Lamen Island he falls in with a sorcerer, who reveals the tiny island's brutal past. On Erromango, the haunted island, he hunts pigs and survives an exorcism. On Tanna Island, where they believe all white men are evil, he is initiated into a tribe. On Irian Jaya he survives where missionaries died. Williamson walks alone, and survives by embracing these cultures.
The Story of the Great Dance in New Guinea
By Andre Dupeyrat
Father Andre has been sent to convert Fuyughean tribes in New Guinea to Christianity. Yet in some ways, it seems that he becomes the convert. This book is a detailed portrait of the Gabe, the 'great dance' that is the most spectacular event of the Fuyugheans and described by the Father as "the antique fusion of Beauty: word, song, dance..." Although he often bumbles his way through their society, this is nonetheless a tribute to, as well as a valuable record of, a way of life that has vanished.
Headhunting in the Solomon Islands:
Around the Coral Sea
By Caroline Mytinger
Caroline Mytinger, a portrait painter and anthropology enthusiast, traveled among the Solomon Islands for two years just before WWII with her friend Margaret Warner, who could make music with anything. Their aim was to paint portraits of the different types of people inhabiting these islands. They left the United States with little equipment, less money, and no support, planning to pay their way as they went by painting portraits. This book is the story of that journey, a hilarious and often uncomfortable epic of infections, alligators, fevers, bad weather, restless models, and their obsession with eating shredded coconut.
The Early Life and Adventures of Sidney Spencer Broomfield
By Sidney Spencer Broomfield
Broomfield was an entrepreneur among explorers: he was an Ivory hunter and prospector in East Africa in 1868-1869; a specimen collector and pearl fisher in Southeast Asia and Dutch East Indies in 1874-1875, and a mostly self-taught doctor of medicine in New Guinea in 1875-1876. It is jaw-dropping adventure all the way through to the appdendix, "Head Hunters and Pirates of Borneo."
Life in Feejee:
Five years among the Cannibals
By Mary Wallis
Mary Davis Wallis, was the wife of well-known sea captain Benjamin Wallis of Salem, Massachusetts. From 1844 through 1849 she accompanied her husband on trips to the south pacific, primarily Fiji. Always lively, her account is filled with sometime gory details of cannibalism and other tribal rituals. This is a classic true woman's adventure of the South Seas.
Love for Sail:
The Here and Now of Ocean Cruising
By Mark Hassall
Mark Hassall wrecked his first boat on Anacapa Island, off Santa Barbara, but he built himself another -- a trimaran this time -- and took off on a three-and-a-half year around-the-world cruise with his wife and son. This book is a transcription of tape recordings he sent home to his friends, which in fact gives the action a potent immediacy (hilarious at times, and terrifying at others). Besides being a great adventure story, this book is a philosophical look at the cruising lifestyle. Great stuff!
The Cruise of the 'Alerte':
In Search of Treasure
By E. F. Knight
This is an old-fashion treasure hunt and a great nautical adventure. The author and a small amateur crew left England in 1889 aboard a 64 foot schooner, bound for the uninhabited island of Trinidad off Brazil. They had with them a description of the treasure's location, passed on to them from a dying pirate. Several months later they reached the island, went ashore, and realized that the land conformed exactly to the pirate's tale. They began to dig.
The Mutiny on Board H.M.S. Bounty:
The Captain's Account of the Mutiny and His 3,600 Mile Voyage in an Open Boat
By William Bligh
William Bligh's account of the fatal voyage of the Bounty, and his subsequent 3,600 mile trip to Timor in an open boat. Bligh was not the tyrant of legend in fiction -- in fact, he may have been one of the most lenient commanders of a Pacific exploration ship of that period. Certainly, he was one of the most competent seamen in the British Navy.
The Traveller's Tree:
Island-Hopping Through the Caribbean in the 1940's
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
Find out what might make a cannibal eat his meal in depressed silence in Fermor's narrative of his experiences tooling around the Caribbean in the 1940's. This Anglo-Irish adventurer traveled by steamer, airplane, and sailboat along the entire length of the West Indian island chain. He was a very acute observer and carefully documented the unique geographical, cultural, and linguistic features of the islands. The mixtures of cultures and religions in the Caribbean are unique in the world, and the author writes down every detail of what he sees, from Voodoo rituals to eclectic fashion. (Second Edition)
Wanderings Among South Sea Savages:
And in Borneo and the Philippines
By H. W. Walker
Mad Fijian princes! Flying lizards! Web-footed people! Cannibal recipes! This is real adventure. Walker spent almost two decades wandering around the South Seas, island-hopping and exploring. He condensed this narrative from letters written during that time, extracting the most interesting or amusing incidents, so it's full of excitement and really funny. Ostensibly, his purpose was to collect bird and butterfly specimens in the islands, but he became much more involved in the life of the people, and at one point ended up in the middle of a tribal war in Papua New Guinea. Some scenes in this book are not for the faint of heart!
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