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OL Sing Blong Plantensen Project


Ol Sing Blong Plantesen - Plantation Songs - brings to light the fascinating and creative tradition of Salvesen, a song and dance form that emerged from the sorrowful and alienating years of South Sea Islanders' indentured labor in the cane fields of Queensland from the 1860s to the turn of the century.


This release highlights the exuberant a cappella singing of Pacific Islanders and offers a glimpse into the surprising reach of African American spirituals in the late nineteenth century. 

Salvesen is the only known creative form to survive from the labor trade years and is still performed today in the central islands of Vanuatu. It combines African American spirituals and gospel hymns with a Vanuatu customary circular dance. Accompanied by a limited edition, extensively researched and richly illustrated book documenting the history of the music, Ol Sing Blong Plantesen is a testimony to the South Sea Islanders' capacity for turning sorrow into a lasting expression of joy. 


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