New Hebrides


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New Hebrides

(hĕb`rĭdēz), Fr. Nouvelles Hébrides: see VanuatuVanuatu
, formerly New Hebrides
, officially Republic of Vanuatu, independent republic (2009 pop. 243,304), c.5,700 sq mi (14,760 sq km), South Pacific, E of Australia.
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New Hebrides

 

archipelago of 80 islands (12 of them large, including Espiritu Santo, Ambrim, and Efate) in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in Melanesia. It is a joint possession (condominium) of Great Britain and France. The archipelago covers an area of 14,800 sq km. The population in 1972 was 90,000, of whom about 93 percent were indigenous peoples speaking various Austronesian languages. Most of the native people are Melanesians, and the rest are Polynesians. Later settlers include French, English, Australians, Tahitians, Uveans, and Futunans. Most of the inhabitants are Christians, chiefly Presbyterians. The administrative center and chief port is Vila on Efate.

The islands are mountainous, with a maximum elevation of 1,810m. They are composed of volcanic rock and have about 60 volcanoes, ten of which are active, as well as many solfatara, fumaroles, and hot springs. Natural resources include deposits of sulfur and manganese (the latter is being worked). The climate is tropical and humid. Mean monthly temperatures range from 20° to 27°C, and the annual precipitation may reach 1,000 mm. Tropical rain forests cover the windward eastern slopes, and the western slopes support sparse woodlands. The economy is based on the plantation cultivation of coconut palms and cacao trees. Other crops include sugarcane, coffee, and cotton. Animal husbandry is also important. The forests yield valuable timber, including species of the genus Agathis.

The islands were discovered in 1606 by the Portuguese navigator P. Quirós. In 1774, J. Cook explored the islands and named them the New Hebrides because of their mountainous coast, which reminded him of the Hebrides Islands in Europe. The condominium was established in 1906. The islands are governed by a joint administration in which the British and French high commissioners participate on an equal basis. In 1957 the Advisory Council of 30 members (12 Melanesians and the rest English and French) was formed as the local governing body.

References in periodicals archive ?
This federation was supposed to include Santo and the surrounding islets, but not the urban centre of Luganville; all the neighbouring islands, Aore, Malo, Aoba and Maewo; all the islands belonging to the Banks and Torres group; and all the other groups in the New Hebrides wishing to join the federation as a free and independent people.
French representation in the South Pacific has endured adverse Forum reactions before, whether caused by the decolonisation of the New Hebrides, 25 years of nuclear testing in French Polynesia, the Rainbow Warrior bombing, or the treatment of FLNKS demands in New Caledonia.
Park may have been thinking of John Williams who was the first missionary to the New Hebrides.
One of the exhibits will be Malekula Man, from what is now known as Vanuatu in the South Pacific, formerly the New Hebrides islands.
He spent four years in New Hebrides and the Philippines in the South Pacific and Port Hueneme in California.
When Captain Cook first discovered Tanna, he named the islands The New Hebrides, as they reminded him of the islands off Scotland.
They traced a path across the Pacific with bases in the New Hebrides, Bouganville, and Tinian, flying strikes against Rabaul, Bouganville, and the Buka Passage, and flying patrols over the Marianas and Iwo Jima.
Samson's research is particularly valuable in revealing that reports on islander ways in Eastern Melanesia--for the New Hebrides, the Loyalties and Fiji--were well under way between the 1830s and 60s.
In that same year LMS missionary John Williams (1796-1839) was martyred on the Island of Erromango in the New Hebrides.
Anyone logged on to the web anywhere in the world, from Nova Scotia to the New Hebrides, and right here in Scotland, would be able to catch the minute-by-minute excitement of the count.
The part of the subduction zone which is close to New Caledonia is marked by the New Hebrides ocean trench.
Formerly known as the New Hebrides, Vanuatu is a sprawling cluster of 83 islands and 260,000 people, 2,000 km northeast of the Australian city of Brisbane.