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Nakaa's Awakening: Land of Matang (Book One)
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, phosphate was discovered on a remote Pacific Island called Ocean Island (now known as Banaba). This book tells the story of the author’s family who travelled to Banaba from Australia in 1900. The father, John Williams, supervised the extraction of the phosphate.
Ella, his wife, was unprepared for what she would find on Banaba but, after her initial shock arriving on an island of primitive savages, she grew to love the island and its people and to care deeply about their plight as the phosphate mining gradually destroyed their beautiful home.
While the father was supervising the hundreds of indentured workers brought to the island, Ella and their two year old daughter, Gwennie, were getting to know the Banaban people and learning about their culture and beliefs. Their native houseboy, Tetabo, taught Gwennie about his people’s magic and mysteries, and the connection to the spirits of their ancestors they revere. John’s increasing concerns over his daughter who is behaving more like a native as she became closer to Tetabo and the other islanders.
Despite his loyalty to the mining company, John gradually came to respect the Banabans and to understand their plight. The discontent and riots of the imported mine workers provided a constant challenge, the anxiety of the Banabans about the mining worried him while the changes to his family perturbed him.
This moving story deals with conflicting loyalties, cultural differences and a family adjusting to a whole new environment and society while destructive mining practices threaten the near-extinction of the Banaban race.
The survival of the Banaban people into the twenty-first century is a triumph of human spirit over industrial might. They continue to believe that good will overcome evil as they struggle to survive the wrath of the evil spirit Nakaa and his Awakening.
“Yet, though Matang was lost forever, a cherished tradition said that the ancestor gods had promised to return to their children one day, wherever they might be…”
Stacey M. King - More Information
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