(formerly New Hebrides). A group of islands stretching from northwest to southeast for 550 miles (900 kilometers) between south latitude 13º and 21º and east longitude 166º and 170º. They have a land area of 5,700 square miles (14,800 square kilometers). The population is 170,000 (1994). More than 90 percent are Melanesians. Asians, Europeans, and Polynesians make up the rest. Discovered as early as 1606 by Pedro Fernandes de Quieros, the Spanish explorer, the island group was settled by British and French in the latter half of the nineteenth century. These early settlers had an unsavory reputation for lawlessness and “blackbirding” (the kidnapping of natives to be sold as slaves). Since 1906 the islands have been administered by the Anglo-French condominium. Independence was grant...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.

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