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Vanuatu is located in the Southwest Pacific some 850 km West of Fiji. (16 deg. lat.,168 deg. long. east of Greenwich). Prior to independence in 1980 this archipelego of 74 populated islands as well as hundreds of tiny islets, was known as The New Hebrides. Combined, the islands have a total land mass comparable to the size of Massachusetts, but are spread across 650 Km. of Pacific Ocean.

In 1991 The Author happened upon a reference (1), concerning an area in the Sakau peninsula of the Republic of Vanuatu that contained "no less than seven strains of Hermaphroditic pigs". Being a "closet" reproductive physiologist and immediately recognizing the incorrect terminology of this statement (but no less intrigued by its content), I sought to contact the author for verification of this reference. He was unable to substantiate this quote, but was able to put me in contact with Kirk Huffman(14), an anthropologist, who had spent 17 years as curator of the National Museum of Vanuatu. Huffman substantiated the aforementioned quote with names and locations of islands that are said to have the world"s highest ratio of intersexual pigs (a more precise term for these particular animals) intersexuality is the state or quality exhibited by an individual of a normally dioecesious group in which both maleness and femaleness are to be distinguished in varying degrees and/or at different times)(3).

The original purpose of this study was simply to verify and document the existence of this rare sexual aberration. Early on It was realized that if this topic was to be investigated comprehensively, it had to become a part Biological-part Ethnological venture. During the two year preparation for this project, I was able to consult with reproductive and behavioral specialists and was made fully aware of the scientific ramifications of a study pertaining to this particular condition, prompting me to revise and develop this study far beyond original expectations.

In addition to verifying the actual existence of these pigs, I planned to plot their occurrence and distribution today as compared to the only other documentation dealing with this subject, written in the early 1900"s. In this article Baker(5) also states, "I hazard to estimate that there are between ten and twenty intersexes per hundred normal males in Sakau" (A penninsula on the northeast coast of the island of Espiritu Santo). The Author intended to enlist the Ni-Vanuatu (indigenous people of Vanuatu)whenever possible to assist with this project.

The purpose of this project was to conduct a culturally sensitive scientific study with the intentions of updating, amending, clarifying and continuing previous studies concerning pig intersexuality on the Islands of Vanuatu.