Photographer's Note

Old traditions die hard. French Jesuits priests worked hard in converting the natives of Caledonia to Catholicism. They succeeded... mostly. A statue, imported from France depicting Christ, was erected in this South Pacific Island — a veritable suburb of Paradise — but the old Tiki Gods were placed in a circle around the statue of Christ for double protection.

This phenomenon is an echo of the first encounter of the New World with the Old, of the Spanish Conquistadores with the natives of Central America. Certainly, a melding of cultures and religions took place. The descendants of the Toltecs, Maya, Olmecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs... and a score of others, all worshiping a pantheon of Gods, were converted by the sword. But centuries later, they sacrifice chicken and goats, instead of humans.

The archipelago known as New Caledonia was discovered by Captain Cook. The British explorer had been commissioned by the British Government to circumnavigate the world and to determine whether New Zealand was connected to a great southern landmass, or "Terra Australis." During the years 1772-1775, he was on his second voyage on the H.M.S. Resolution to the South Pacific. On that voyage, he charted the eastern coast of Australia, and in 1773 discovered a set of islands, he named "New Scotland" (renamed "New Caledonia" by French settlers). Six years after he discovered the islands, on his third visit to the Hawaiian Islands, Cook became embroiled with the natives, and, in defeat, was boiled in a cauldron.

I have a sincere apology for a colossal amateur mistake. I had leveled the water, 1° counterclockwise, but posted the wrong edition of the photo. It's tilted down on the right, in the direction of the south. The water is running off toward the South Pole.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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