The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum

iKiribati Community

Kiribati is an island nation of the central Pacific Ocean. It lies on the equator and consists of 33 coral islands (21 inhabited) spread across 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean. There are three main island groups within Kiribati: the Gilbert Islands; Line Islands and Phoenix Islands. The island of Banaba (Ocean Island) is an isolated island that lies between Nauru and the Gilbert Islands.

People settled the islands of Kiribati between 2000-3000 years ago developing a unique culture, infused with elements from their North Pacific neighbours and with historical influences from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji through trade, marriage and warfare. Kiribati became a nation on gaining independence from Great Britain in 1979.

In the 1940s the majority of the people of Banaba moved to the island of Rabi in Fiji. This move was because the island of Banaba (Ocean Island) had been devastated by phosphate mining. Around 5000 Banabans now live in Fiji and are full Fijian citizens, they continue to administer the island of Banaba.

The artefacts on display are mostly from the Gilbert Islands.