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this page, New Caledonia stories, historieswords, habits, colonialismFrench
New Caledonia is first and foremost a colony, where the invader arrogates to himself all rights and attributes property and land to himself. It's an asset we do not talk about anymore. This is not the past. Small or large, the Kanak revolts are still relevant to claim the lost lands. The last date from 1984.
This fundamental story is not the only subject I want to address, but I do not avoid it, although limited by my readings, and my lack of experience as an European on the "Stone".
The country is a mountainous chain of dorsal type interspersed with passages (passes), between the two east and west coasts. However, the slopes cut valleys and there is also called "passes", the heights to cross between two valleys on the same side of the mountain. A good example was the trip to Tontouta, before the construction of the highway, where we crossed a pass.
Great Land (Grande Terre) is only a central mountain range, culminating at more than 1,600 meters, and the few large plains (very relatively) of the west can't make it a flat country; Noumea itself is only hollow and humps. Hence the amazement of New Caledonians, when they learned from a school book published after the "Great War" (14-18), that the island was "relatively flat". What was taught for a very long time. With probably "our ancestors the Gauls", which Kanaks probably struggled to assimilate..
They were still laughing of that during my stay, and the New Caledonians, who overwhelm us with pleasure, repeat it with delight to the "zoreillles" that we were. But OK..
This is not our only fault because in the past, the misunderstanding of metropolitans who came to throw some bridge over a river did not honor us; nothing has withstood the weather. This is not our only wrong because in the past, the misunderstanding of the metropolitans who came to throw some bridge over a river did not honor us; nothing had withstood the floods carrying packs of bamboos here.
They are therefore not wrong, although they are not cooperative at all, and expect a lot from others. I remember a discussion about the caves; "Why would we discover them? We let you do it!"
- The "RT". It is the Territorial Route, equivalent of high way/main road, even side way (in French, nationale/départementale), depending of the section, numbered 1, 2, 3..
- The "PK". It is the Kilometric Point, followed by a number of kilometers, which defines a place, a characteristic location.
Example, House, clinic at PK8. The PK number sometimes replaces the name of the place itself. So is the Noumea cemetery !
We can add an Anglo-Saxon precision that avoids serious errors, THE DIRECTION ! as here: the "EPK" (east) or the "OPK" (west). In Tahiti, where there is only one road that goes around, which is mo or less at the seaside, its amusing. But nervertheless helpful.
The car. I was there at a time of low traffic density, and the New Caledonian past was still very much alive; So I'm talking about native Caledonians who, at the time, told me to go shoping by car, looking at the store windows driving, like the American way. They did not walk! only the Kanaks were walking, and I would say, also entered the small urban buses, which my wife had tried in the beginning.
by a nice and sweet end of the day, I was one day going back home on foot, and then, a motorist of the district had stopped to take me on board, persuaded that my car I was out of order .. he did not believe me !! At the time, we only walked downtown, at least (late 60s).
- The license plate. The native Caledonians knew almost the most known licence plate numbers they have to and we couldn't go anywhere without being identified, because while driving, they looked at the license plate numbers of the cars they were encountering !!
New Caledonia, I recalled that first of all, it was a colony for the natives, with its brutality and deprivation of everything.
In the second place, it is a prison with its deportees of the commune, which partly participated in the development of the country when lands were intentionally attributed to them. "We are descendants of convicts", are fond of recall the caldoches strain with more or less veracity if we take into account different genetic crosses. But their past is irreducible, like it is for kanaks. And we do not miss to visit the prisons or their reconstruction.
The tutelage of France is still omnipresent, no prerogative of importance will be abandoned. Only in the world to maintain a national school of administration while villipendant officials, which is funny, we also like to coexist two rivals, the President and his Prime Minister, which does not exist in any country, the first person, King or President, having only a consultative and representative role.
We therefore do not know how to free trade agreements while maintaining close relations, in the interests of both parties. The referendum on independence, delayed at the far year 2018, has finally lead to a "no".
many interests were at stake, for the three parties - Kanaks, Caledonians and French government, come together, more powerful than recriminations. Because many Kanaks are satisfied with their new lives, despite low wages and poverty that affects them much more than Westerners and Asians.
The Monique, a colonial affair of 1953.
During the celebrations of the centenary 1853-1953 , the night of July 31, a boat leaves Maré, but never reaches Nouméa . 126 disappearances, only one complaint was
filed and the judge removed from the case (1955). The boat belonged to the house Ballande, all powerful. The file was hidden and the investigation closed.
The overload, frequent, would be evoked, but parts have disappeared.
The strangest thing is that nothing of the Monique has been found, except a buoy. Some research, including a sonar, did not reveal anything.
Would the boat have left his route? &Nbsp; mystery. We do not know today, early 2018, the site of the sinking. In March 2011, the underwater robot of an hourglass ship was put at the disposal of the association "fortunes de mer".
An alleged "abnormal" zone was squared off, but it was only a long coral dome, lost in the middle of sandy bottoms.
French history of the Stone (Le Caillou;
Colonial penitentiaries are still very present in the New Caledonian minds. Most of the New Caledonian families had a convict as an ancestor because they actively participated in the development of the country, and for some were liberated or laundered on the land they exploited. The reference to the convicts is often mentioned: "we are descending convicts"..
Source : émission TV.
colonial penitentiaries said "of poors" was located in the town of Nouville (Nouméa), but there were other places as in the Great south of the main land, at Yaté.
The cells were installed along two lines of buildings that were facing each other, the central allée was named "the boulevard of crime" on the basis of the guillotine and executions that took place there sometimes (76 executions). Several hundred convicts were detained there p>
Reconstitution of cell : the narrow cells were almost entirely covered with raised planks who serve of sleeping: only a short place was free, with a bucket.
A cell seen through an opening cut in the wooden door (the shutter panel is folded outward, forming a tray).
There is a bar on which a chain can slide. In pink, the wall on the right and the bottom of the narrow cell. Precision: all around the opening, on see the wood of the door.
Here the front of the layer of raised planks with, in front, a short space at ground level (a bucket is disposed there). We see the short chain to which detainees could be tied if necessary. the bar is right above.
Source: TV show. I quote: "Between 1867 and 1940, 22.000 convicts of common right arrived in the territory . More still were embarked in France because the conditions of transport were very trying "(the word is weak!)
The convicts were locked up by 30 or 40 in iron cages on the lower deck and hindered.
They were allowed an hour out on the deck a day.
"They first built their own jail because there was nothing in the beginning except encampments, backfilled all the bays of Nouméa, opened roads, worked on the properties of the administration for agriculture and livestock, builds all historic buildings
of all the European villages of New Caledonia ".
"They were dressed in white and wore a straw hat.
progressing, kanaks were driven from the plains to the mountains , and released convicts were there & nbsp; installed in their place on parcels of land allocated by the administration. "
Many horrors have been perpetrated in these times of conquest, including some groups of Japanese came to seek
work in the mines. Once used, treated as barbarians, many of them were killed or sent to camps in Australia; their fate could hardly have been better. Nowadays, some who have escaped punishment and could even open shops, their descendants strive to make
live the memory, even though their grandchildren are became real Caledonians.
Origin and integration create misunderstandings and I remember a woman who was considered to be Chinese and who did not understand why, not to mention the English of Caledonian origin who did not understand that we make English speak on TV with such a ridiculioule French accent, while he had exactly the same, which gave us a laugh.
In France too, a man of color who speaks French perfectly always surprises, and much more if he has the Marseilles accent.
See also people and "tribes"
Finally, we are more than discreet about the period of exclusion of the Kanaks, the deprivation of their lands, their property, their social life, their condemnation for minor acts that they did not understand, their confinement in what were called tribes, fenced and of which they had no right to go out.
I do not like the excessive use of misplaced vocabulary as it is quite common to hear it today.
It is estimated that when Captain James Cook discovered the Ballade Pass on September 5th, 1774, New Caledonia had about 50,000 inhabitants. But how much after "the first great revolt"?
I added this testimony after watching a TV report on August 29, 2017, the first of its kind, but I suppose there are many other archives on the subject.
Knowledge of the country.
When the Europeans arrived, the country was divided into a very large number of clans and groups that did not understand each other (map of main languages) and warriors occasionally.
English conquest. Approached from the north, to Balade , the English only wanted to establish a coal depot. Kanak and European New Caledonia remains strongly marked by this origin.
They were the ones who evangelized the kakaks, got them dressed, taught them how to play cricket! The French pursued the conquest and appropriated all the lands, except those of the islands, which were however & quot; administered & quot; or just
Families have stayed and English-sounding names are not uncommon, such as Ohlen, Nixon, Winchester, Pentecost (Australia).
In the north, both communities existed peacefully, each with their territory! . One of the Winchester, met at the Paris Tourism Fair, trading at Mont-Dore (jewels, engravings), would tell you about it with great conviction, without any English accent!
I quote: "In 1843, the government (Louis Philippe) plans to take possession of the New Caledonia, the French flag is planted at Balade from 1843 to 1846.
At the same time, Minister Guizot has serious difficulties with England orders to withdraw it to avoid any further incidents.
"In 1853, the French imperial government is trying to find a land to establish a penal colony. Napoléon III
orders then the taking possession and on September 24, 1853, Admiral Auguste Febvrier-Despointes hoist the french flag on Walk>, then the 29th, on the "Pine island" . Australia, it does not appreciate this change.
"A few days later, coming from China, Tardy de Montravel confirms the taking of possession on the ground founded Port of France (Noumea) more inalterous bay but safer for ships".
"From 1864 to 1897, 22,000 convicts were received in the various prisons of the country, some of whom were granted concessions."
"From the first years, the natives rebelled on the side of Hienghène and the conflict spread because it was necessary to delimit the kanak lands and those attributed to the colonists.
In 1878 bursts a real insurrection under the conduct of Chief Atai when settlers bring their flocks. Seven months later and 200 dead on the French side, a thousand Kanak side, Ataï is shot down by Segou, chief of Canala. Calm is restored in January 1879. "(Hachette Guide)