IN A FLASH - FLASHBACK: Views from Anuta, Solomon Islands

These photos from Anuta – one of the world’s most remote Polynesian islands – were sent to “IN A FLASH” by Kent State Professor Emeritus Richard Feinberg, Ph.D. In his 45 years teaching at Kent State, he has visited the southwestern Pacific region more than a dozen times, conducting doctoral research in cultural anthropology.

Polynesian island Anuta at dawn in 2013.

This photo, taken by Feinberg in 2013, shows the island of Anuta at dawn.

The island's senior chief at a feast held in his honor.

The island’s senior chief at a feast honoring him for his leadership as the community emerged from a potentially devastating famine in 1972.  Photo by Richard Feinberg.

Richard Feinberg using the short-wave radio in Anuta.

Richard Feinberg speaking on the island’s short-wave radio in 1972. The set, powered by a hand-cranked generator, was the only means of communication with the British Solomon Islands Protectorate’s nearest administrative office, 250 miles away. The photo was taken by Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, M.D., who was visiting Anuta for medical research project. Gajdusek would become a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1976.

Professor Emeritus Richard Feinberg

Feinberg is a Professor Emeritus, Kent State University; Honorary Fellow, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania; At-large Member, Executive Board, Society of Senior Anthropologists; Board of Directors, Fulbright Association of Northeastern Ohio; Immediate Past President, Kent State University Retirees’ Association; 2019 Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Anthropology, Palacký University Olomouc; Executive Committee, Folknet (Traditional Music in Northeast Ohio); AAUP-KSU Council, Emeritus Delegate.

He has written numerous books, monographs, special issues of journals, book chapters and referred journal articles. The Kent State University Press has published three of Feinberg’s books about Anuta:

  • "Polynesian Seafaring and Navigation: Ocean Travel in Anutan Cul­ture and Soci­ety."
  • "Anuta: Polynesian Lifeways for the 21st Century."
  • "Polynesian Oral Traditions: Indigenous Texts and Translations from Anuta, Solomon Islands."
Sedna IV, the vessel used by the Sedna Foundation for research and documentaries.

Feinberg traveled to Anuta in 2013 aboard the Sedna IV, a vessel used by the Canadian Sedna Foundation for research and documentaries.  Photo courtesy of Yacht Harbour. 

The 2013 expedition produced a video called “Anuta: Hidden Paradise." It can be viewed here

Want to see one of YOUR photos in “IN A FLASH?” Submit your Kent State-related photos to and you may see them in a future Kent State Today post. Photos should be framed -horizontally- and include a brief description of what’s happening in the photo along with when and where it was taken.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 24, 2024 08:32 AM
Updated: Friday, January 26, 2024 11:08 AM
Phil B. Soencksen