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Le Vanuatu
Présentation du Vanuatu


Vanuatu is an archipelago situated in the northeast of Australia. 900 km is constituted by more than 80 islands spread on. We count 6 provinces. The capital is Port Vila.Vanuatu account 243 000 inhabitants among which 80 % living in rural zone.


Vanuatu was populated during the migrations towards the Melanesia, from 45 000 to 1 500 BC The current populations of Vanuatu arise from a mixture of these various tablecloths of populations. It is the Portuguese Pedro Fernandez de Queiros who, believing to have reached the southern continent so looked for, gives him the name of: "Terra Australia del Espiritu Santo",  Where from the current name of Espiritu Santo, one of the islands of the archipelago. The relations not being the best with the natives, Queiros leaves the country which falls again then into the oversight. It is only 160 years later that the Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville recognizes this island and gives him the name of " Big Cyclades ". On July 16th, 1774, the British James Cook, aboard Resolution, discovers in his turn the archipelago during his second expedition in the Pacific. We owe him the first sea chart of the archipelago and the name of "New Hebrides". But the famous captain stays only 46 days then leaves. Several sailors succeed one another afterward.Until 1830s, the archipelago is the object of interest only for the explorers. From these years, missionaries' arrival then, from 1840 till 1860, exploitation of the wood of sandalwood, train two types of very different contacts for the natives. Workers' traffic called " black birding " towards Queensland, in Australia, during 1860s increases the mistrust of the natives to the European. The archipelago is however converted, and from 1860s, colonists, mainly English and French, settle down. However, neither France nor Great Britain are resolved to annex the island.

In 1887, a temporary status is set up but it is only in 1906, that is as all other lands of the world are, either independents, or formally connected with another State, than is signed by both powers the definitive colonial diet of the archipelago, the condominium of the New Hebrides. This diet establishes a duplication of all the authorities and the services on the island. Originally temporary, the condominium continues and eventually accepts by the colonists of diverse nationalities.

During the Second World War, the New Hebrides are the first French colony to reunite De Gaulle, and a back base important for the Americans. During 1960s, the inhabitants try to obtain more autonomy, and, in spite of the hesitations of the French people, the independence is proclaimed on July 30th, 1980. The former colony is reappointed "Vanuatu". 1990s, with the end of parliamentary stability, are synonymic of political instability, which relatively calmed down in the 2000s.

maintain the law and the order.When quarrels burst, they can be resolved again in a peaceful way, by the exchange of food, mats and pigs. During the years, we nevertheless attended an evolution of the cultural and usual rites upset by the arrival of the globalization on the archipelago.We count more than 100 vernacular languages in all the archipelago, and three official languages: French, English and bichelamar. The linguistic politics is in favour of the multilingualism, and Vanuatu is the only French-speaking state independent from the South Pacific.


The traditional culture is always very important and very alive in the life of the Melanesians. It is not only certain number of rites, ceremonies and traditions, but it is also the lifestyle which dictates the behavior and give interpretations onto what occurs. The custom and the ancestral traditions exist for centuries and allow the respect in the community. The customary practices are different from an island in the other one, but one usualceremonies everywhere in the archipelago. They give rhythm to the events of the social and family life . They allow to


The economy rests on the export of the beef and the fish, the forestry development, the fishing and the breeding. Two slaughterhouses became established as well as some light industries . The tourism, rapidly expanding, and the foreign capital represent two thirds of the GNP today. With an annual flow of more than 61 000 persons, the visitors come mainly from Australia, from New Zealand and from New Caledonia. A wide part of the economy thus rests on the tourism, the phenomenon which became more marked due to the globalization