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The Kiribati..

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This is a tribe I am learning about that inhabited the Austral Islands in the lower Caroline Chain. They were a culture that revolved strictly around warfare, sort of a Sparta in the South Pacific. This is an interesting picture of a Kiribati warrior's armor...It was made of wood, coconut fiber, and human hair..The reinforced backplate is interesting, too if you think in the context of primitive weapons (it made a head or neck strike difficult). The club is made of monkey pod and shark's teeth, as are the knuckle dusters and cuffs. They were builders of elaborate stone temples, burial places, and fortifications. These people were not to be tangled with...even the young girls carried shark-tooth knuckle dusters and pairs of double-edged shark-tooth or sawfish clubs. Very interesting culture. The South Pacific is full of this. Better than any fiction !

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna on 2003-08-19 21:17 ]

BK them guys had scrapping down to a science. How long did this civilization thrive for? Warring/ conquering tribes seemed to always get ideas from others that they attacked. Very interesting to see a people evolve, peak, the fade away or get absorbed into another culture.

One of the reasons i love visiting my in-laws is to see their collection of Kiribati objects. My wife was the first baby born to forgein parents in newly created country of Kiribati (formerly the gilbert and ellis islands)and her first words were in I-Kiribati.
Unfortunatly BK the I-kiribati never built stone temples i think you have them confused with some other part of micronesia (Oceanic art by anthony JP Meyer can be a bit confusing).

Chiki, the objects in the photo are 18th or early 19th century, so I assume this culture fell victim to the missionary incursions like so many others..Atomic...I could be confused, and you do have the right book (volume 1)...flip back a page or two...where are these temples located, then? He has them in the Carolines. His series does feature some degree of backtracking and jumping around.The temples almost look Khmer. They're beautiful.

If I remember correctly the Museum of Natural History in NYC has a nice example of that type or woven armor

...and what was the Kiribati's most ingenious piece of armour? Before it was ever a lamp, they came up with THE BLOW FISH HELMET!

Hope to post a pic soon..

That would be one of these...Look at the craftsmanship in that warrior's dress. I've also heard these people called the Banaban and the Gilbertese...They've got most of the South Pacific beat (with the possible exception of the Maori) in the "effort point" category!

For more information on Kirabati try..

The Material Culture of Kiribati by Gerd Koch, pub. Institute of Pacific studies of the University of the South Pacific 1986

Kiribati:Aspects of history, pub. Ministry of education, training and culture, Kiribati government.1979

Mt fravorite thing about Kiribati is that the written language is all pronounced phonetically until you come to "ti" which is pronounced as "s" because the missionary that first recorded the language had a broken S on his typewriter.

Exotica 2003, day one, is behind us, and all I have to show for it is a hangover and these pics, courtesy of BigBro Sven who brought them for me all the way from LA just so I could post them to TC. See, we're watching out for all you guys who couldn't make it to E03!

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