Being on Christmas
This book is about a place, a place called Christmas Island, which formed as a result of a volcanic eruption just off of the Australian continental plate in the Indian Ocean 60 million years ago. It is a hot and humid place and home to 120 million red crabs, rare birds, pristine tropical forests, and unique plants. The island has a rich phosphate deposit that is rapidly running out and some of the world’s best and most spectacular diving, complete with visiting migratory whale sharks. It is also currently home to about 1,500 people.
More specifically, this book is the first attempt made in the discipline of anthropology to describe Christmas Island in ethnographic terms. Even more specifically, this book is an attempt to describe the richly sensual, more than human world of Christmas, which I mean to characterise herein in and through four distinctive movements.