Kiribati
   Tabiteuea North, 1979

   (photo by Steve Trussel) Click for large image.

KIRIBATI, (pronounced like kee-ree-bus, the native pronunciation of Gilberts) is a small island republic in the middle of the Pacific, with a population of about 70,000 Micronesians. Formerly part of the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, Kiribati became independent in 1979, while I was there on leave for a year from my graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, doing linguistic research for the Kiribati Peace Corps Language Handbook.


+ Kiribati Bibliography: the latest version, extensively updated, with title and topical indexes.
+ A Chronological Bibliography of Banaba
+ Treaty of Friendship Between the United States of America and the Republic of Kiribati, signed at Tarawa September 20, 1979. (Thanks to John D. Boswell for supplying a copy!)
+ Kiribati Links

Kiribati in the News
  photo by Franco Salmoiraghi - click to enlarge
2000 greeted with song, dance - January 1, 2000 (The Japan Times)
Date Line Politics - August, 1999 (Honolulu Magazine)
U.N. admits Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga - September 16, 1999 (The Japan Times)
U.N. entry of Kiribati, Nauru OK'd - June 27, 1999 (The Japan Times)
Christmas cleared for spaceport - September 17, 1998 (The Japan Times)
Tiny Island's Date-Line Jog in Race for Millennium - Mar 23, 1997 (Nicholas D. Kristof)
Last sunset of the 20th Century - Jan 25, 1997 (Cleo Paskal)
Pacific braces for millennium storm over matter of degrees - Jan 25, 1996 (Quentin Letts)


One of Robin White's Kiribati woodblock prints, "On the beach at Bikenibeu" (1992)

Gilbertese (te taetae ni Kiribati)

From my collection of Gilbertese linguistic data, I've selected a few of the more interesting items. Among these are the earliest known descriptions of the language, Horatio Hale's 966-word list, collected in 1841, as part of the U.S. Exploring Expedition 1837-1842, and published in 1846 with the report of the expedition, and a 320-word list, published in 1847 (collected in 1845) by M. Fabre, a doctor aboard a French ship which picked up a canoe-load of drift Gilbertese, given here in my translation of the original French, with the word list in English order.