formerly called the New Hebrides, is a group of over 80 volcanic islands in the
Europeans to visit Vanuatu in May 1606 were members of the Spanish
expedition led by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros.
arrived on 16 th July 1774, on his second Pacific expedition. He drew the first
charts of the region and named the places he visited. Many of the names are
still in use today, including Tanna, Erromango, Ambryn and the Shepherd
shortly after the mutiny on the bounty, William Bligh sailed through the
Northern Banks group in his longboat. He sighted several previously unrecorded
islands and returned three years later to confirm his
The first Christian missionary
on the scene was the Reverend John Williams from the London Missionary Society.
In 1839 he stepped ashore on Erromango and was promptly eaten. Presbyterianism
eventually became the major Christian denomination. The Anglican Diocese of
Melaesia followed in 1860,while Catholicism arrived in 1887.
form of Pidgin English, is Vanuatu’s national language. English and French are
also widely spoken.
also has the highest concentration in the world of different local languages per
head of population. There are 106, and 81 are still actively
Bislama is based on English, with a few dozen French words and ‘ island
language’ thrown in.
Here are a
few that made us chuckle.
mi : The book belongs to me
hemi bugarup or Samting ia I brok : This is
Tankyu : Thank