Nanumea via

My pals Keith and Anne are anthropologists who have spent considerable time in the country called Tuvalu on the island of Nanumea.     Keith’s done a great  job with a website called “” that offers Nanumeans as well as the rest of the world a lot of insight into their history, geneaology, cuture and language.   Unfortunately Nanumea is third at Google when you search for “Nanumea” when clearly this is *by far* the best resource for the island with extensive history and photos.     Part of the reason for this post here is to see how quickly Google correctly ranks and also how this blog post ranks for the term “Nanumea”.

Unlike islands that are far more familiar to most of us like Fiji or Hawaii, the Tuvalu group of islands which includes Nanumea is fairly isolated and Tuvalu has never become much of a tourism destination.    For example to get to Nanumea you need to first fly to Tuvalu (usually from Australia I think), and then ride a boat over to this island, home to about 600 people.

Yet thanks to Keith and Anne those of us who may never travel there can get a great sense of the people and culture, and language.  They are only a mouse click away at is an ambitious attempt to document the life and times of the Polynesians residents of the island, include the following:

  • Photographs (1973 to the present)
    • Nanumean families (1973-4, 1984)
    • Daily life in Nanumea
    • Ceremonies and Celebrations
    • Fishing, Gardening, Cooking
    • Making Canoes, building houses
      weaving mats, titi, fau, etc.
    • Individual people, including many
      elders who have now passed away
  • Genealogies (family lines: gafa, telega)
  • Tape recorded interviews and stories (if possible – we are looking at the technical requirements)
  • Publications about Nanumea
  • Miscellaneous other information

5 thoughts on “Nanumea via

  1. How interesting; the first word I saw on the website was “Talofa” which is also the Samoan word for hello/welcome. Not so surprising since they’re both Polynesian languages.

  2. Tommo interesting. Keith speaks Tuvaluan and he probably knows how similar it is to Samoan. Hey – if you get bored blog a few of your Samoa pix over at Travel and History – it’s always neat to get an insider travel perspective.

  3. Joe thanks for making us aware of this website. It is very interesting however most of the photo links don’t go anywhere. It is amazing that in this day and age islands with populations of a few hundred continue to survive and grow.

    Some of their lifestyle is envious…a lot simpler with a focus on more important things which here in America most people have long forgotten.

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