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Native Strangers: Beachcombers, Renegades and Castaways in the South Seas
by Susanne Williams Milcairns

The Pacific beachcombers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were the real-life Robinson Crusoes. They were ordinary sailors from American and Europe who found themselves shipwrecked and cast away in the South Seas. Dramatically severed from all that was familiar, they were forced to create new lives on island shores. They 'went native' in order to survive, embarking on unparalleled journeys into the heart of strange cultures. They became tattooed, spoke native languages, married native women and participated in religious and cultural rites and rituals - possibly even cannibalism. Native Strangers draws on the scores of narratives, yarns, personal reminiscences and tall tales of the beachcombers, challenging the romantic notions inherent in early European views of the Pacific. These stories are testimony to the beachcombers' courage and adaptability. Their level of cross-cultural integration has rarely been equalled by any group of travellers and explorers, before or since.

paperback, , 288 pages 2006, ex-lib in used condition, book spine slanted
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