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The Pacific - Oceania
(1978 - 1989)


"His recordings are considered to be of the finest professional standard. The cultural significance of David Fanshawe's work is immense.... his serendipitous discoveries have resulted in a legacy of inestimable value." - National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, Australia

The Fanshawe Pacific Collections is a major international archive acclaimed to be a rare and unique sound picture, an unparalleled musical survey of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.  The Fanshawe Collection focuses on the rich variety of authentic music indigenous to Oceania; ethnic music and environmental sounds that are arguably the best location recordings ever attained from the remotest islands on our planet. Generously supported by the University of the South Pacific, the archive consists of over 2000 stereo tapes, each tape matched with coloured slides and 38 volumes of hand-written Journals, documenting the research, history and sociological background.

Nation Countries


American Samoa, Austral Is, Cook Is, Easter Is, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Marquisas Is, New Zealand, Niue, Rotuma, Society Is, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis & Futuna, Western Samoa


Hatohobei, Kosrae, Marshall Is, Nauru, Palau, Guam, Yap, Kiribati, Mariana Is, Pohnpei, Truk, FSM (Federated States of Micronesia)


Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Norfolk Is, Torres Strait Is

The Honorable Ve'ehala, Tonga
The Honorable Ve'ehala, Tonga,
Playing Nose Flute

Music Types

Traditional chants, dances, oration, Gospel chanting, pig dance, war songs, religious services, club dance, drum dance, skulling chants, navigational chants, initiation rites, custom meetings


Slit log gong, garamut drum, long bamboo flute, nose flute pan-pipes, jaws harp, clap stones, conche, ukelele, bamboo xylophone, gourds, string bass etc


Reefs, hurricanes, copra boat engines, bird calls, crickets, bell rocks, fireworks, night FX,  canoe paddling