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Oceania: The Robert Louis Stevenson Collection



Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous palagi (white man) to find his way to Samoa where he is held dearly in Samoan memories. Stevenson wrote the following poignant elegy, engraved on one face of his tomb which ends with the following lines: 

Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

Robert Louis Stevenson's tomb lies atop Mount Vaea on Upolu, Samoa.  

During the late 19th century, Robert Louis Stevenson travelled extensively throughout the islands of the Pacific.
He made a photographic record of his journeys which have encapsulated life in the Pacific Islands at this time.
The images below are of some of the people that Stevenson met during his journey. 

Left: King Mataafa of Samoa. Right: King Mataafa's rival, Tamasese.

Left: King Mataafa's natural daughter. Right: Queen Vaekehu and her adopted daughter.

Princess Ka'iulani of Hawaii.
For more information on Princess Ka'iulani, click here.

Gilbertese (Kiribati) woman preparing poi-poi (babai).

Harem and little son of Tem Binoka on board
 the Equator passing from Aranuka to Abemama.

Interior of the maneaba of Tem Binoka's harem.

Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson
with Nan Tok and Nei Takauti at Butaritari, Kiribati.

"God's sweetest work - Polynesians".

Samoan Island belles.

Marshall Islands canoe.

More Robert Louis Stevenson Collection
Oceania Postcards and Picture Galleries
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By Jane Resture
(E-mail: -- Rev. 9th March 2003)