Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides Condominium), a group of islands located in the South Pacific 500 miles (800 km.) west of Fiji, were under the joint sovereignty of Great Britain and France. The islands have an area of 5,700 sq. mi. (14,763 sq. km.) and a population of 181,350, mainly Melanesians of mixed blood. Capital: Vila. The volcanic and coral islands, while malarial and subject to frequent earthquakes, are extremely fertile, and produce copra, coffee, tropical fruits, and timber for exports.
,The New Hebrides were discovered by Portuguese navigator Pedro de Quiros in 1606, visited by French explorer Bougainville in 1768, and named by British navigator Captain James Cook in 1774. Ships of all nations converged on the islands to trade for sandalwood prompting France and Britain to relinquish their individual claims and declare the islands a neutral zone in 1878. The New Hebrides were placed under the control of a mixed Anglo-French commission of naval officers during the native uprisings of 1887, and established as a condominium for the area was attained in 1962 under the new name of Vanuatu.,,
,British and French to 1982,,
,100 Vatu = 100 Francs,,
||ND, 1982, 500 VATU, RED, CARVED STATUES,