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Kunie

The Kunie are the indigenous people of the tiny Isle of Pines, located 60 km off of the coast of New Caledonia’s main island, Grand Terre. Though in the past their existence was threatened by the presence of a French penal colony, today the Kunies have re-gained ownership of their land and are now struggling to guard their customs in the light of a new outside influence--the influx of tourism. The island’s eight clans re-unite for the celebration of the annual yam harvest, deemed one of the most important events of the year. They are legally allowed to hunt sea turtles for this and other special occasions, which are offered as a tribute to their ancestors.