• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Nauru was originally settled by Melanesians and Polynesians. Tradition holds that among the earliest settlers were castaways from another island, probably Kiribati. The name ‘Nauru’ is a European corruption of ‘A-nao-ero’, which means ‘I am going to the beach to lay my bones’. The island has had little contact with its neighbours, enabling its distinctive language to survive. By the 18th century the society was organized into 12 matrilineal tribes, each headed by a different chief.


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Further Reading

  1. McDaniel, Carl N., Paradise for Sale: Back to Sustainability. 2000Google Scholar
  2. Weeremantry, C., Nauru: Environmental Damage under International Trusteeship. 1992Google Scholar
  3. National Statistical Office: Nauru Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Finance, Government Offices, Yaren District.Google Scholar
  4. Website:

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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