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Mothers' Darlings of the South PacificThe Children of Indigenous Women and U.S. Servicemen, World War II$
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Judith A. Bennett and Angela Wanhalla

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851521

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851521.001.0001

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On the Atolls

On the Atolls

Gilbert Islands

(p.270) Chapter Eleven On the Atolls
Mothers' Darlings of the South Pacific

Judith A. Bennett

University of Hawai'i Press

Of all the tropical South Pacific’s islands, atolls are the least well endowed with natural resources on land. Dominated always by the sea, these people looked to the horizon for new opportunities. The war brought these as well as loss, not only from Japanese attacks but from young men who left women and children longing for more promising futures. Most of the women involved had had previous relationships. Though some later made successful marriages, not all did, and some who did, sacrificed the welfare of the child when a foster father resented a living reminder of the Americans. Some part U.S. children experienced some teasing as children, alerting them to their difference. Some were fostered in a customary way by family or more rarely, adopted out of the family. In spite of great efforts over the years, no one has found their U.S. connection but seek this still.

Keywords:   virginity, loose women, secrecy, interdenominational distrust, Catholic Sisters, Coastguard, adoption, Ellice Islands, Bikati, Tarawa, Butaritari, Abemama, ‘half-castes’

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