This book investigates the rise of Kanak nationalism in New Caledonia in the period after World War II, along with the events and factors that influenced it. It shows that the rise of Kanak nationalism is connected to a long history of anticolonial movement rooted in Kanak cultures and was also influenced by movements and discourses outside of New Caledonia, especially in metropolitan France. The book locates the New Caledonian experience within broader discussions of colonialism, decolonization, nationalism, and nation building. This introduction provides an archaeological and anthropological overview of Kanak cultures and societies, as well as their interactions with foreigners over the centuries. In particular, it considers three historical changes that pushed New Caledonia to the breaking point; one of which was the establishment of a protest group, the Foulards Rouges (Red Scarves), in what became known as the Kanak Awakening (Réveil Canaque). France's annexation of New Caledonia in 1853 is also discussed.
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