Also known as: Anejom

Aneityum is the southernmost island of Vanuatu. While many of Vanuatu's islands are linguistically diverse, the people of Aneityum constitute a single ethnolingustic group. Among other things, Aneityum is notable for having suffered one of the worst cases of depopulation in the Pacific following European contact.

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Traditional Culture(1848)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 27-32
Ancestral spirits Absent (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 27-32
Spriggs (1981), pp. 6.11
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 58, 6.11
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 128-129

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 3.5

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Principal determinant of one's afterlife (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 131-132
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 131-132

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Patterson (1882), pp. 130

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 59-60
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 60
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 59
Largest religious community Larger than a local community, no larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 55, 58-60
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 59-60, 64-65, 6.2
Social Environment +
Population 4000 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 70-92
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 57, 90
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 58
Polygamy Monogamy preferred, but exceptional cases of polygyny (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 59

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 55-66
Spriggs (1985)
(No) internal warfare Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 63-64
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Spriggs (1985)
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 63.7 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 1808.0 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 19, 3.2
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 19-20, 3.2
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 19-20, 3.2
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 86, 3.2

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 20, 3.2, 3.3
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 20, 3.2
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 20, 3.2

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 3.9
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 31
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11
Island Size (km²) 160.0 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 12
Maximum elevation (meters) 852.0 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 12

Location

Latitude -20.2 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11
Longitude 169.8 (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 11
Post Contact History(1848-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Primarily a bottom-up process. (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 63, 6.2
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Spriggs (1985)
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Spriggs (1985)
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Spriggs (1985)

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Spriggs (1985)
Secular History +

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Spriggs (1981), pp. 31-32
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Geddes, W.R. (1961). Nine Dayak Nights. London: Oxford University Press.

Patterson, G. (1882). Missionary life among the cannibals : being the life of the Rev. John Geddie, first missionary to the New Hebrides, with a history of the Nova Scotia Presbyterian mission on that group. Toronto, Canada: James Campbell & SOn, James Bain & Son, and Hart & Co. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/missionarylifeam00pattuoft/mode/1up

Spriggs, M. (1985). ‘A school in every district’: The cultural geography of conversion on Aneityum, Southern Vanuatu. The Journal of Pacific History, 20(1), 23-41.

Spriggs, M. J. T. (1981). Vegetable kingdoms: Taro irrigation and Pacific prehistory [Doctoral Thesis, Australian National University]. Australian National University Open Research Library. https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/109796