Open main menu

NEW HEBRIDES, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, W. of the Fiji Islands, from lat. 13° to 20° S., long. 168° to 170° E.; area est. at 5,000 square miles. The largest ones are Mallicollo, and Espiritu Santo. One, Tanna, has an active volcano; and in consequence probably of volcanic action, Aurora, one of the most fertile, sank out of sight in 1871. Another violent volcanic outbreak occurred on Ambryn Island in 1913-1914. They are wooded and hilly, ebony and sandalwood being obtained; and their chief products are yams, bananas, cocoanuts, and sweet potatoes. The chief animal is a small pig, not larger when full grown than a rabbit. The native inhabitants, belonging to the Papuan race, were in general degraded and very ferocious, but have become more or less Christianized. These islands, according to the Anglo-French convention of 1906, are under the control of two joint French and British high commissions. Pop. about 75,000.