New Ireland

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
New Ireland
Map of New Ireland
Map of New Ireland
Waters Bismarcksee
Archipelago Bismarck Archipelago
Geographical location 4 ° 5 ′  S , 152 ° 46 ′  E Coordinates: 4 ° 5 ′  S , 152 ° 46 ′  E
New Ireland (Papua New Guinea)
New Ireland
surface 8th 650  km²
Highest elevation Mount Taron
2379  m
Residents 100,000
12 inhabitants / km²
main place Kavieng
Topographic map
Topographic map

New Ireland (English New Ireland ; German formerly Neumecklenburg ) is an approximately 8,650 km² island in the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea , on which around 110,000 people live. It belongs together with many small offshore islands to the province of New Ireland with the capital Kavieng in the north of the main island. Her name in the Papuan language Tok Pisin is Niu Ailan .


New Ireland is on the eastern edge of the Bismarck Archipelago , 5 degrees south of the equator, between 149th and 154th degrees east. The island extends over 470 kilometers in a northwest-southeast direction and is only 10 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. The Pacific borders on its east side, the Bismarck Sea to the north and the Saint George's Channel to the south , which separates the island from the neighboring island of New Britain and the offshore Duke of York Islands .

The relief of New Ireland is mountainous; the highest point is Mount Taron with 2379  m. ü. M. in the southern Hans Meyer Mountains . The northern part of the island runs through the center of the Schleinitz Mountains . The northernmost point of New Ireland is the so-called North Cape , the southernmost the Cape St. George.


Early settlement and indigenous culture

Malanggan masks from New Ireland ( Ethnological Museum Berlin-Dahlem)

The earliest human traces go back over 30,000 years. At the end of the 19th century, the Uli figures from the culture of the earlier inhabitants were discovered. Malanggan is an extensive complex of rites and, on the other hand, traditional art in New Guinea. 19 languages ​​are spoken in New Ireland; all but one are Austronesian and related to each other.

European discovery and first contacts

From the European side, New Ireland was first sighted in the 16th century by the Spaniard Pedro Fernández de Quirós and rediscovered in 1616 by the Dutch navigators Jakob Le Maire and Willem Schouten . In August 1767, Philipp Carteret recognized that the island was an independent island that was not connected to New Britain and New Hanover by land masses, as had been assumed on the European side. Carteret gave New Ireland the name "Nova Hibernia", which later led to similar names in English and German.

In the early days of European contacts, the Carteret port in the south was a popular port of call for Spanish and Dutch merchant ships because of its fresh water resources. After the founding of the British prisoner colony New South Wales in Australia (1788) it gained importance for English ships, since the southern tip of New Ireland was on the so-called "inner route" from Sydney to Hong Kong. From 1830, American whaling ships also increasingly bartered along the St. George Canal; and around 1840 a group of eighteen Europeans, deserters from Sydney , settled for the first time in Port Praslin, west of Cape St. George. Europeans had previously been reported of passing merchant ships, living as individuals with locals in beach villages.

The Europeans got an early insight into cannibalistic practices of the local population. Missionary George Brown reports from the Wesleyan Mission that in 1875 he gained experience in this direction during his first tentative attempts at conversion. Not only did he see the bones of people lying around, but locals reported frankly that human flesh was being consumed. On the occasion of a later visit, the mission then convinced itself of this. Around 1900 it was established that even from an indigenous point of view there was an advanced departure from cannibalism.

Marquis-de-Rays Colony in Likiliki, 1880. Tableau in the Sydney Mail of October 30th. J., after a photograph by the Rev. G. Brown

The island recorded an increased influx of Europeans from January 1880 because of the colonial project Charles Bonaventure du Breils , Marquis de Rays, who after a diplomatic failure to found his own state on the west coast of Australia, the south of New Ireland for a "free New France in the South Seas ”( La Nouvelle France, Colonie Libre du Port Breton , not to be confused with the French territory of La Nouvelle-France in North America). By January 1882, an estimated 500 settlers of French, Italian, German and Greek descent came to New Ireland on a total of four emigration ships, who after unsuccessful attempts at clearing and farming in Port Praslin, Likiliki, Irish Cove, Port Breton and Bay Marie either went to Nouméa (New Caledonia) or Sydney, Australia, or were employed by trading companies based in New Britain and the Duke of York Islands.

The later Hamburg merchant Eduard Hernsheim explored Steffenstrasse in the north of the island in February 1880, measured the natural harbor at the North Cape for the first time and founded stations for his company Hernsheim & Co on the upstream port island of Nusa and in the village of Pakail (now Kavieng) . By 1881, Hernsheim's agent Friedrich Schulle founded further stations on the east coast of New Ireland: in Kablaman, Butbut, Navangai, Lamerotte, Lagumbanje, Lauaru and Kapsu. At the same time, a “worker traffic” was set up to the main branch on Matupi (Blanche Bay, New Britain), where young New Irish people were instructed in copra production during a three-month apprenticeship.

In 1882/83 these peaceful relations established by Hernsheim & Co were exploited by other captains of trade to deport around 1,300 New Irish countries as assistants for coconut and sugar cane plantations to Queensland (Australia), Fiji and Samoa under the pretense of a next work stay on Matupi . Protests by the British Commissioner HH Romilly and Eduard Hernsheim were followed by a ban on these kidnappings, the " blackbirding " or "black thrush" , on the British side in March 1884 and the German side in March 1886 . The German law was limited to the north of New Ireland and was repealed in September 1887 at the instigation of the New Guinea Company .

German colonial rule (1885-1914)

Inhabitants during the German colonial era around 1910

After the German flags were hoisted on Nusa and Kapsu (both November 12, 1884), New Ireland was under the name "Neu-Mecklenburg" from 1885 to 1899 part of the protected area of ​​the New Guinea Company , from 1899 to 1918 part of the Imperial German protected area of German New Guinea . To supply the plantings in the northern part of the island, a road was laid on the north coast from around 1900 on the initiative of District Chairman Boluminski , which today connects the places Samo, Namatanai , Kanam, Malom, Logia and Mangai with the provincial capital Kavieng (since 1975 "Boluminski- Highway "). For the construction u. a. convicted cannibals used. With the support of the indigenous upper class, local workers were able to be won over to build an infrastructure, set up experimental plantings, operate intensive farming and develop the Nusa port as a port of call for Kavieng.

World War I and Australian mandate administration (1914–1975)

During World War II , New Ireland was occupied by the Japanese army . The Japanese surrender ceremony in New Ireland was held on September 18, 1945 on board the HMAS Swan (U74) .

Independence and Recent History (1975 to date)

See also


  • Hermann J. Hiery (Ed.): The German South Sea 1884-1914. A manual. 2nd, revised edition. Schöningh, Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-506-73912-3 . ( Review by Gerhard Krebs, University of Hamburg: PDF; 15 kB; 3 pages).
  • Simon Haberberger: Colonialism and Cannibalism. Cases from German New Guinea and British New Guinea 1884–1914 . (= Sources and research on the South Seas. Series B. Research 3). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2007, ISBN 978-3-447-05578-9 .
  • George Brown: Pioneer-Missionary and Explorer: a narrative of forty-eight years' residence and travel in Samoa, New Britain, New Ireland, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Hodder & Stoughton, London 1908. (autobiography)

Web links

Commons : New Ireland  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Robert Eklund: New Ireland (Niu Ailan). Linköping University , Sweden, [2010?], Accessed on August 1, 2013 (English, private homepage, picture-only page).
  • Steven M. Albert: Lak. In: Countries and Their Cultures. 1997, accessed August 1, 2013 . Info: Albert wrote his doctoral thesis after field studies 1985–1986 with the matrilineal Lak people in the south of the island of New Ireland.
  • Steven M. Albert: Tubuan: Masks and Men in Southern New Ireland . In: Expedition . tape 29 , 1987, pp. 17–26 (English, [PDF; 2.4 MB ; accessed on August 1, 2013] 5 scanned double pages with photos).

Individual evidence

  1. Neumecklenburg. In: Heinrich Schnee (Ed.): German Colonial Lexicon . Volume 2, Quelle and Meyer, Leipzig 1920, p. 633 ff. Accessed August 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Alastair C. Gray: Trading Contacts in the Bismarck Archipelago during the Whaling Era, 1799-1884. (English). In: The Journal of Pacific History. Volume 34, Number 1, June 1999, pp. 23–43. (Info: Originally a doctoral thesis from 1989 at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand)
  3. ^ Clive Moore: New Guinea: Crossing Boundaries and History. (English). University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 2003, p. 160 ( direct link to page 160 in the Google book search).
  4. ^ A b Simon Haberberger: Colonialism and cannibalism. 2007, pp. 67-72.
  5. a b George Brown: Autobiography. 1908, p. 124 f. and 133 f.
  6. A brief overview of the founding of the colonial era and its failures is given in the introduction written by Peter Biskup: Jean Baptiste Octave Mouton: The New Guinea Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Octave Mouton. (= Pacific History Series. No. 7). (English). Australian National University Press, Canberra 1974.
  7. Jakob Anderhandt: Eduard Hernsheim, the South Seas and a lot of money. Biography in 2 volumes. MV-Wissenschaft, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-86991-627-9 , here: Volume 1, pp. 345-349.
  8. Jakob Anderhandt: Eduard Hernsheim, the South Seas and a lot of money. Biography in 2 volumes. MV-Wissenschaft, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-86991-627-9 , here: Volume 1, p. 102.
  9. The term "Schwarzdroßlers" is documented in: Stefan von Kotze: South Sea Memories: from Papuas Kulturmorgen. Berlin 1925, p. 118. (Quoted from: Jürgen Römer: “A picture of fairytale magic” - Germans in Finschhafen (New Guinea) 1885–1888. (PDF; 132 kB). Marburg 1991, p. 17. Retrieved on 1 August 2013.)
  10. Seiferling: The Bismarck Archipelago and its future. The same to the Chief of the Admiralty, December 2, 1902, in: File concerning SMS Möwe from October 1902 to [left blank] , Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv , Freiburg im Breisgau, RM3 / 3115.