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Books About Oceania

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Book Categories: Pacific, Melanesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Polynesia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Australia, New Zealand, Asian Royalty

Pacific Islands

A History of the Pacific Islands by Steven Roger Fischer. Traces the human history of nearly one-third of the globe over a 50,000 year span, taking the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia from prehistoric culture to the present day.

The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders by Donald Denoon and Malama Meleisea. An introduction to the experiences of Pacific islanders from their first settlement of the islands to modern times.

A History of the Pacific Islands: Passages Through Tropical Time by Deryck Scarr. Spans the centuries of islands from New Guinea to Tahiti and Easter Island -- from the first, pre-European settlement until the present day.

Prehistory in the Pacific Islands by John E. Terrell. Traditionally scholars have recognized a division between Polynesians, Micronesians, Melanesians, Australians, and South-east Asians. Terrell shows that such simple divisions do not fit the known facts.

Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures by Matt K. Matsuda. Asia, the Pacific Islands and the coasts of the Americas have long been studied separately. This essential single-volume history of the Pacific traces the interactions and peoples that have connected these regions with each other and with Europe and the Indian Ocean.

Tradition Versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa by Stephanie Lawson is about politics and government in Oceania.

Patrons, Clients, and Empire: Chieftaincy and Over-Rule in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific by Colin Newbury. Comparative study of relationships between the indigenous leaders and colonizing Europeans from the 17th to the 20th century.

Imperial Benevolence: Making British Authority in the Pacific Islands by Jane Samson. From kingmaking projects in Hawaii, Tonga, and Fiji to the campaign against the labor trade in the Western pacific, the author examines the cultural roots of Britons' attitudes toward Pacific Islanders.

Chiefs Today: Traditional Pacific Leadership and the Postcolonial State edited by Geoffrey M. White and Lamont Lindstrom. Far from being relics, the chiefs who operate in modern Pacific states figure significantly in national identities and political development.


An Introduction to the Anthropology of Melanesia: Culture and Tradition by Paul Sillitoe. Includes a chapter about big men (chiefs) on Bougainville Island.

Social Change in Melanesia: Development and History by Paul Sillitoe. An account of social change in Melanesia since the arrival of Europeans, covering the colonial period and the postcolonial states.

Lonely Planet Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands by Andrew Burke, A. Barkhordaian. Travel guide.


The King and People of Fiji by Joseph Waterhouse is about Thakombau, Chief of the Fiji Islands, 1817-1883.

The End of Empire Dependencies Since 1948 edited by Frederick Madden. About the progress toward self-government and independence of Fiji, the West Indies, British Honduras, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Gibraltar, and the Falklands.

The Failure of Democratic Politics in Fiji by Stephanie Lawson. Traces the sources of divisions in Fiji to attempts of colonial administrators to protect the way of life of indigenous Fijians.

Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth Century by Brij V. Lal.

Papua New Guinea

Historical Dictionary of Papua New Guinea by Ann Turner. Covers major economic, social, political, and cultural developments. Includes basic geographic information, biographies, and maps.

Books About Indonesia

Solomon Islands

Identity Through History: Living Stories in a Solomon Islands Society by Geoffrey M. White. Includes a chapter on chiefs, persons and power.


The Archaeology of Micronesia by Paul Rainbird. Surveys the development of Micronesia, from the earliest human colonization, within the broader context of Pacific Island studies.

Historical Dictionary of Guam and Micronesia by William L. Wuerch. Basic reference on Micronesia. Includes the Mariana, Caroline, Marshall, and Gilbert islands and the island nation of Nauru.


Hawaiki, Ancestral Polynesia: An Essay in Historical Anthropology by Patrick Vinton Kirch, Roger C. Green. Presents a detailed reconstruction of Hawaiki, the ancestral Polynesian culture that flourished some 2,500 years ago.

Polynesia: In Early Historic Times by Douglas Oliver. Presents a comprehensive description of major aspects of Polynesian cultures, providing written accounts from European explorers and current writings by archaeologists and anthropologists.

Cook Islands

Lonely Planet Rarotonga & the Cook Islands by Oliver Berry. Travel guide.

Cook Islands: A "Spy" Guide by International Business Publications. Information on government, culture, traditions, and more.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Island at the End of the World: The Turbulent History of Easter Island by Steven Roger Fischer. Published in 2005, this is the first English-language history of Easter Island, a chronicle of adversity, triumph, and the enduring monumentality of the island's stone heads.

The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo. Disputes conventional wisdom about the island's history, claiming the Easter Islanders did not devastate the palm forest or descend into brutal violence.

Hawaiian Islands

Books About Royalty in Hawaii


My Samoan Chief by Fay G. Calkins. Autobiographical account of an American woman who married a descendant of Samoan chiefs.

A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa by Robert Louis Stevenson. Eyewitness account of the battle of three Western nations -- Germany, Great Britain, and the United States -- for control of Samoa in the late 19th century.

Lonely Planet Samoan Islands & Tonga by Paul Smitz, Susannah Farfor. Travel guide.

Islands of Samoa by James A. Bier. Reference map of Tutuila, Manu'A, 'Upolu, and Savai'I.


Aphrodite's Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti by Anne Salmond. The impact of the European effect on the islands, and how the mythologies of Europe and Tahiti became entwined.

Moon Guides: Tahiti by David Stanley. A travel guide with options for a range of travel budgets.

Lonely Planet Tahiti & French Polynesia by Bill Goodwin. Another travel guide.

Tonga (Friendly Islands)

Books About Royalty in Tonga

Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)

Time & Tide: The Islands of Tuvalu by Peter Bennetts and Tony Wheeler. Large format, full-color photographic essay (120 color photos) showing the islands of Tuvalu, which will surely be lost as sea levels rise. Text discusses the country's history, people, culture and daily life.


Books About Australia and Monarchy
Books About Princess Mary of Denmark

New Zealand

Books About New Zealand and Monarchy

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Cook Islands
Wikipedia: Cook Islands

Easter Island
Wikipedia: Kings of Easter Island

CIA World Fact Book: Fiji
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Papua New Guinea
The People of Papua New Guinea, Way of Life

Government of Samoa (official site)
The Chief of Western Samoa
Samoa Royal Genealogy
CIA World Factbook: Samoa

CIA World Factbook - Tuvalu
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Wallis and Futuna
Charting the Pacific: Wallis and Futuna
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