New Caledonia

Figure 1.-- This photo was taken in the Catholic church of Ono, New Caledonia. The first Catholic mission was founded by Marist missionaries (1843). Now the Catholics are the main Christian denomination in New Caledonia. The Church is pat of the Archdiocese of Nouméa. The photo was taken during a Mass celebrated for the feast of the Collège de Sisia, a Catholic school.

New Caledonia is a French island group northeast of Austalia and south of the Solomons--a recipie for involvemnent in the Pacific War. New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. It is surronded by crystal-claer largely unpopulted waters in the South Pacific. It is peopled by French settlers (some relted to convicts transported to the island) and the idigenous Melanesian people, called Kanaks. The British navigator James Cook encountered the islands (1774). He saw a similarity between the mountainous terrain of the Grande Terre and his native Scotland--historically known as Caledonia. The French annexed the island (1853). We do not yet have a page on the island. We do have some history pages on French colonial rule and the island's role in World War II. New Caledonia was an inportant staging and supply base for the Allies duing the fighting in the Solomons (1942-43). We also have a page on French colonial schools. There is liitle to say about the clothes the indigenous people wore. In the hot tropical climate, children rarely wore any clothing at all. Missionries when they arrive insisted that the natives wear at least some clothing. Today boys wear European-styled clothing suitable for tropical climate.


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Created: 5:28 PM 3/13/2013
Last updated: 5:28 PM 3/13/2013