Articles in Islands
The food of Hawaii reflects the islands’ geography, history, and the traditional beliefs of its inhabitants. Time-honored culinary practices of the first Polynesian settlers have been melding with gastronomic sensibilities of American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and other immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Who were these inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands? Where did they come from? And when? How did these Neolithic people manage to cross the huge expanses of the Pacific, to find and to colonize the seven islands of the Hawaiian archipelago, much as their ancestors did with hundreds of other far-flung, and often tiny islands scattered across an ocean that spans nearly a third of the globe?
The answer to the title question is tricky as there are actually two Hawaiian tongues: one known as the Hawaiian language, as simply Hawaiian or (in Hawaiian)’Olelo Hawai’i, and the other called Hawaiian Pidgin. The former is a language of the Austronesian family, related most closely to languages of French Polynesia, while the latter is an English-based creole—rather than a pidgin, despite the name.
Fear of overdevelopment is gripping the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. The main issue centers around the Big Wind, a project aiming to provide 400 megawatts of wind power. The recent sale of Lanai and the pending sale of Hana Ranch on Maui raise concerns as well.
In a number of earlier GeoCurrents posts we have mentioned diplomatic tensions over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom claimed by Argentina (see here, here, and here). This island group consists of some 780 islands in South Atlantic, with the total area of about 4,700 square miles, which is slightly larger than Jamaica or Kosovo, slightly …
To many people “vanilla” is synonymous with “plain” or “boring”, perhaps because of the bland taste of vanilla ice cream (the most popular ice cream flavor worldwide) or because most Americans get their vanilla flavor either in the form of vanilla extract, which contains at least 35% alcohol (and tastes accordingly), or from imitation vanilla derived from wood fibers. The real vanilla, however, is the second most expensive spice after saffron. Its flavor is as delicate as its story is fascinating.
The word “Madagascar” evokes in many people’s minds the animated comedy series, whose latest chapter, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, stays atop the box office, dazzling audiences around the world. The eponymous island located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa garners much less attention in the media. However, political and economic disasters continue to wreck this huge island—the world’s fourth largest—in dire contrast to the bedazzling adventures of zoo and circus animals in Madagascar 3.
As the 30th anniversary of the armed conflict between Argentina and the UK over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, diplomatic tensions over the future of these South Atlantic islands remain high. On May 19 Britain sent a nuclear submarine HMS Talent to the Falklands.
One of GeoCurrents’ goals is to combat geographical illiteracy and one way to do it is by pointing out egregious errors made by politicians and other prominent individuals. A recent case in point is Barack Obama’s confusion of two archipelagoes, one in the South Atlantic and the other in the Indian Ocean. During a speech at the Summit of the …
A new study of the genetic background of the people of Madagascar sheds light on the settlement of the island. It has long been known that the initial movement of people to Madagascar was relatively recent (1,000 to 1,500 years ago), and that it originated not from the African mainland but rather from the islands of what is now Indonesia.
Until recently, Hovensa in the U.S. Virgin Islands was one of the world’s largest petroleum refineries, with a capacity of almost 500,000 barrels per day. As of this month, Hovensa is no longer refining oil, but is merely serving as a storage facility.
French news outlets are reporting “spontaneous and unorganized” outbursts of violence on the island of Réunion, one of France’s overseas departments. Protests against the high cost of living and rising prices of fuel exploded several days ago.
The world’s largest rat extermination program is currently underway in South Georgia Island, a British sub-Antarctic territory that is also claimed by Argentina.
Malta has long been a major node in the movement of unlicensed migrants to Europe. Maltese authorities, however, have recently announced that that landings have essentially come to and end.
Matters of basic geographical definition can be extremely important in international disputes and negotiations, especially when it comes to maritime claims. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, any country can claim a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around every island that it controls, usually splitting the differences with