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“Because it is a Holy House of God”: Buildings Archaeology, Globalization, and Community Heritage in a Tanna Church

  • James L. Flexner
  • Martin J. Jones
  • Philip D. Evans
Article

Abstract

Archaeological research on a prefabricated timber church on Tanna Island, Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) has revealed details about site history, construction, use life, and current condition. This structure encapsulates two of the critical aspects of the New Hebrides missions, connecting these remote islands to wider global networks, while simultaneously being something that local communities made, and continue to make “their own.” In addition to being of interest to the indigenous community, buildings like the 1912 Tanna Church represent important examples of the tangible heritage created by the interplay of local and global forces in the modern world.

Keywords

Buildings archaeology Vanuatu Churches Globalization Oceania 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Chuck Orser for moving this paper through the review and publication process. Ongoing work on Tanna, Erromango, and Aneityum is part of a partnership between the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and The Australian National University, supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council (to Flexner, DECRA DE130101703). Assistance from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga to facilitate Jones’ involvement is also gratefully acknowledged. Matthew Spriggs and Stuart Bedford are important research colleagues in Vanuatu historical archaeology. In Lenakel, Chief Peter Marshall, Tommy Kueriatuen, Iavis Nikiatu, and Jimmy Kuautonga have all been integral to the progress of this work locally. Jean Paschal and Joel Iau, as well as student volunteers Craig Shapiro and Andrew Lorey also contributed to our work, along with countless others who were gracious hosts to Flexner and Jones during fieldwork.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Flexner
    • 1
  • Martin J. Jones
    • 2
  • Philip D. Evans
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Archaeology and AnthropologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Heritage New Zealand Pouhere TaongaAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Wood ScienceUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Applied MathematicsAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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