The very notion of a ‘small island’ usually triggers several associations in the minds of continental dwellers. Remote, isolated, insular, even paradisiacal, are some of the more common imaginings about islands. Yet small island states and their populations are far from isolated or culturally homogenous. On the contrary, islands have long been places where peoples of different cultures have encountered each other and lived in close proximity. Islands are better understood as dynamic centres of cultural interaction – as ‘crossroads of cultures’.
This book brings together scholars of various disciplines from the three main island regions of the world – the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean – to explore the ways in which the peoples of small islands have lived, and continue to live, in their culturally diverse societies. Leading anthropologists, historians, economists, archaeologists and others unpack the complexity and dynamics of societies in small island developing states.