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Author Topic: Benedictine bottle  (Read 4545 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2018, 08:11:19 AM »

any chance you have a copy that is legible?

Try this.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2018, 10:03:01 AM »

ahh! much better thank you Ric, as suspected it appears that they have at least done a cursory survey of the wooded areas of the island. having labeled the western side of the islands flora roughly down to the south eastern tip and around the northwest side of the island to just across from the southern lagoon access point. How closely they looked into these areas is unknown, but given the western side seems to be more detailed I would guess they walked those areas probably in search of good places for a well. the eastern shore that is labeled is done so more generically so I would think it possible they looked less closely there.

it also seems they made sure to label the areas with large trees and were less concerned with the scrub areas. do we have any other anecdotes that lists forestation?? the fact that they added "valuable" to the kanawa tree forest is interesting.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 11:05:25 AM »

ahh! much better thank you Ric, as suspected it appears that they have at least done a cursory survey of the wooded areas of the island. having labeled the western side of the islands flora roughly down to the south eastern tip and around the northwest side of the island to just across from the southern lagoon access point. How closely they looked into these areas is unknown, but given the western side seems to be more detailed I would guess they walked those areas probably in search of good places for a well. the eastern shore that is labeled is done so more generically so I would think it possible they looked less closely there.

Remember also that the map was compiled with information from both the ground survey and the aerial survey.  The different types of vegetation are easily seen in the aerial photos. No need to go bashing about in the bush.

it also seems they made sure to label the areas with large trees and were less concerned with the scrub areas. do we have any other anecdotes that lists forestation?? the fact that they added "valuable" to the kanawa tree forest is interesting.


Kanawa was well-known as a valuable hard wood. The labels on the map are interesting.  The names of places, areas, and vegetation are a mixture of English, Gilbertese, and Tokelau.
• "Henderson Bay" was obviously named for  J.A. Henderson, the expedition's leader who had to be evacuated the first day due to illness.
• "Wreck Point," "S.W. Point," "Kanawa Point,"etc. are also obvious.
•  "Petro Point" is named for Jack Petro, the half-Gilbertese, half-Portugese overseer in charge of the Gilbertese laborers.
• "Point Pensive" and "Point Cowan" are probably named for some memorable incident.
• "Mao" (scaevola) and "Ren" (Tornafortia argentia) are Gilbertese names.
• "Puka" is the same is the Gilbertese word "Buka" (Pisonia grandis).
• The early Gilbertese village is labeled "Keresoma" which is Tokelau for Jerome, but there is no other record of the village having that name or any name. 
•  The atoll is made up of three islands, each of which is named on the map, but the names are different from the names later given them by the Gilbertese laborers.  The names on the map are in Tokelau.  "Moto Oonga" means "Island of the Coconut Crab".  "Fanua Matutu" means "Land of the Red-tailed Tropic Bird" ( Red-tailed Tropics nest under the beachfront scaevola all along that shoreline).  I forget what "Whenua Amokura" means (My Tokelau is rusty).

In any case, none of the names on the New Zealand map stuck.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 11:19:19 AM »

good thinking on compiled information. I have a hard time seeing much in the pictures so I tend to think they weren't used heavily in the mapping. thinking can lead to trouble.

I would also think they had to physically go to many areas just based on the detail provided. things like "dry at low tide" can't be seen from the air.

so, if they mark out the valuable trees and most all of the taller trees is there a reason that we would think there was tanawa in other locations besides the area of tanawa point??
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2018, 11:50:36 AM »

good thinking on compiled information. I have a hard time seeing much in the pictures so I tend to think they weren't used heavily in the mapping.
 

Really?  I can. What was the point in taking detailed aerial photos of every part of the island?

I would also think they had to physically go to many areas just based on the detail provided. things like "dry at low tide" can't be seen from the air.

True, but those notations are only near areas at the NW end where they were doing the detailed work on the ground.

so, if they mark out the valuable trees and most all of the taller trees is there a reason that we would think there was tanawa in other locations besides the area of tanawa point??

You mean kanawa.  We know there was a kanawa tree on the lagoon shore near where the bones were found.
"Should any relatives be traced, it may prove of sentimental interest for them to know that the coffin in which the remains are contained is made from a local wood known as "kanawa" and the tree was, until a year ago, growing on the edge of the lagoon, not very far from the spot where the deceased was found. (Gallagher letter Dec. 27, 1940)
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 12:03:24 PM »

yes, the vegatation is hard for me to make out, although I haven't played with enhancements.

they are also shown down at the southern lagoon entrance.

yes, sorry. Kanawa. been a long week here! I'm using this mental exercise as therapy to relieve some stress of a family illness.

given that statement, are we literally taking it to mean that the tree was close by or could it also be taken with the grain of diplomatic salt. a feel good measure if you will. Gallagher wanted the buildings made of kanawa wood and asked about getting the wood they were clearing brought to a saw mill on another island to use for the village buildings. Do we think he would have had the carpenter hand form a box or use a plank??
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2018, 01:18:20 PM »

given that statement, are we literally taking it to mean that the tree was close by or could it also be taken with the grain of diplomatic salt.
 a feel good measure if you will. Gallagher wanted the buildings made of kanawa wood and asked about getting the wood they were clearing brought to a saw mill on another island to use for the village buildings. Do we think he would have had the carpenter hand form a box or use a plank??

Let's take a close look at what he said.
"the coffin in which the remains are contained is made from a local wood known as "kanawa" and the tree was, until a year ago, growing on the edge of the lagoon, not very far from the spot where the deceased was found."(Gallagher letter Dec. 27, 1940)

If we take him literally, the kanawa tree was standing on the edge of the lagoon "not very far" from the bones in December 1939.  So some time after Dec. '39 the tree was cut down and turned into usable lumber from which the island carpenter Temou Samuela (Emily's father) constructed the coffin some time before February 1941 when the bones went to Fiji. 
A tree growing on the edge of the lagoon would be easy to spot (Hey, there's a nice kanawa tree!) but it would still be about 50 meters from where the skull was buried. Was the tree cut on the same trip the the skull was found and buried?  Maybe, maybe not - but it's worth asking how Gallagher knows that the wood to male the box came from a tree that stood etc., etc.  He didn't take up residence on Gardner until September 1940, so it's either a story he made up (as you suggest) of someone who was there told him about the tree.  If he made up the story, what was the work party doing down there?  The clearing for the coconut planting didn't start until after the bones were found.
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Matt Revington

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2018, 01:45:02 PM »

Trees along the edge of the lagoon would likely be prime targets for wood that is going to taken back to the village for wood working, floating  a log through a relatively calm lagoon back to the village site is much easier than any other method of transport on the island.

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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2018, 01:47:13 PM »

Trees along the edge of the lagoon would likely be prime targets for wood that is going to taken back to the village for wood working, floating  a log through a relatively calm lagoon back to the village site is much easier than any other method of transport on the island.

what strikes me as odd is the largest (possibly only??) supply of kanawa is just south of the village... south east actually.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2018, 01:52:10 PM »

Let's take a close look at what he said.
"the coffin in which the remains are contained is made from a local wood known as "kanawa" and the tree was, until a year ago, growing on the edge of the lagoon, not very far from the spot where the deceased was found."(Gallagher letter Dec. 27, 1940)

If we take him literally, the kanawa tree was standing on the edge of the lagoon "not very far" from the bones in December 1939.  So some time after Dec. '39 the tree was cut down and turned into usable lumber from which the island carpenter Temou Samuela (Emily's father) constructed the coffin some time before February 1941 when the bones went to Fiji. 
A tree growing on the edge of the lagoon would be easy to spot (Hey, there's a nice kanawa tree!) but it would still be about 50 meters from where the skull was buried. Was the tree cut on the same trip the the skull was found and buried?  Maybe, maybe not - but it's worth asking how Gallagher knows that the wood to male the box came from a tree that stood etc., etc.  He didn't take up residence on Gardner until September 1940, so it's either a story he made up (as you suggest) of someone who was there told him about the tree.  If he made up the story, what was the work party doing down there?  The clearing for the coconut planting didn't start until after the bones were found.

ok, so lets go forward with that thought. the work crew is clearing Kanawa trees to make the government house. skull found. Gallagher goes back and finds the rest of the bones. bones get locked up until the box is made from wood found in the area.

the tree would be visible in the aerial photos from the kiwis correct??
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »

the tree would be visible in the aerial photos from the kiwis correct??

I thought you'd never ask. :-)
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2018, 04:41:23 PM »


speaking of which.... I do remember reading the journal of one party member that stated how bored they were, to the point that they were wading into the water and shooting sharks to watch them attack each other.

Interesting.  Metal detecting along the village inlet shoreline during NIKU IIII in 2001, I found both an .303 shell casing, and not far away, the bullet.

Andrew
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Benedictine bottle
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2018, 04:58:21 PM »



Interesting.  Metal detecting along the village inlet shoreline during NIKU IIII in 2001, I found both an .303 shell casing, and not far away, the bullet.

Andrew

and that would be what he used as well...
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