Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific

Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific


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Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific by Felix Speiser





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Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific


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This book is a collection of sketches written on lonely evenings during my voyage; some of them have been published in daily papers, and were so kindly received by the public as to encourage me to issue them in book form. In order to retain the freshness of first impressions, the original form has been but slightly changed, and only so much ethnological detail has been added as will help to an understanding of native life. The book does not pretend to give a scientific description of the people of the New Hebrides; that will appear later; it is meant simply to transmit some of the indelible impressions the traveller was privileged to receive,—impressions both stern and sweet.

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tivity, such as Meralava and Ureparapara, one side of which has broken down, so that now there is a smooth bay where once the lava boiled.

Rivers are found only on the larger islands, where there are volcanic rocks. In the coral rocks the rain-water oozes rapidly away, so that fresh-water springs are not frequently found, in spite of very considerable rainfall.


The climate is not hot and very equable. The average temperature in Efate in 1910 was 24.335° C.; the hottest month was February, with an average of 27.295°, the coolest, July with 11.9° C. The lowest absolute temperature was 11.9° C. in August, and the highest 35.6° C. in March. The average yearly variation, therefore, was 5.48°, and the absolute difference 23.7°.

The rainfall is very heavy. In December the maximum, 564 mm., was reached, and in June the minimum, 22 mm. The total rainfall was 3.012 mm., giving a daily average of 8.3 mm.

These figures, taken from a table in the

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