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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Pacific Islands of Micronesia (3 galleries) >> Kiribati, Central Pacific tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Nauru, Central Pacific | Pohnpei and the lost city of Nan Madol | Kiribati, Central Pacific

Kiribati, Central Pacific

These low-lying coral atolls span three thousand kilometres of ocean, home to barely eighty thousand people. Sir Arthur Grimble, author of A Pattern of Islands, wrote eloquently of his experiences as a colonial officer in the Gilbert Islands a century ago. Even in spite of the upheaval of global war then independence, daily life has changed little in Grimble’s former colony.

“Television (we have none)... we do work but we have not become slaves to it.” With these well-chosen words the 78,000 Micronesians of Kiribati (Kirr-i-bas) - known to our parents’ generation as Gilbert Islanders - present themselves to the world.

It’s the kind of place where everybody comes out to the airport when a flight is due; where the departing traveller, formally rubber-stamped out of the country is turned loose for the next hour, free to wander out the gate and disappear.

These images are scanned from 35mm transparencies, hi-res. versions at 30+ MB (TIFF) are available.

Approaching Tarawa Atoll
Approaching Tarawa Atoll
Approaching Tarawa Atoll
Approaching Tarawa Atoll
Aircraft arrivals are still a novelty
Aircraft arrivals are still a novelty
Maneaba or meeting house
Maneaba or meeting house
Girl beachcombing at low tide, Tarawa
Girl beachcombing at low tide, Tarawa
Fossicking at low tide, Tarawa Atoll
Fossicking at low tide, Tarawa Atoll
Evening game of volleyball, Buariki
Evening game of volleyball, Buariki
World War II tank, Betio
World War II tank, Betio
World War II guns at Betio
World War II guns at Betio
Coastwatchers Memorial, Tarawa
Coastwatchers Memorial, Tarawa
Mexico Beach, Tarawa, Kiribati
Mexico Beach, Tarawa, Kiribati
Mexico Beach, scene of a bloody engagement during the Battle of Tarawa
Mexico Beach, scene of a bloody engagement during the Battle of Tarawa
Islet, Tarawa Atoll
Islet, Tarawa Atoll
Village household on Tarawa
Village household on Tarawa
Harvesting coconuts, Tarawa
Harvesting coconuts, Tarawa
Tending the babai crop
Tending the babai crop
Village homes, Tarawa
Village homes, Tarawa
Father and son, Tarawa
Father and son, Tarawa
Catch of the day, Tarawa
Catch of the day, Tarawa
Inter-island channel,  Tarawa Atoll
Inter-island channel, Tarawa Atoll
Boatman at work
Boatman at work
Buariki village
Buariki village
Engrossed in a card game, Buariki
Engrossed in a card game, Buariki
Mauri Paradise Dive Resort, Buariki
Mauri Paradise Dive Resort, Buariki
Water conservation message
Water conservation message