Koror, Palau Islands: [Koror Intermediate School Print Shop], 1954. First edition. Original pictorial paper wraps fastened with metal brad. Small closed tear to front wrap above the brad with no paper loss; wraps somewhat chipped to edges, but overall attractive and unfaded. Internally bright, clean, and unmarked. OCLC reports only four copies of this scarce and delicate international cookery, which celebrates both American and Micronesian culinary cultures.
The wife of Robert Owen, chief conservationist of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Hera Ware Owen immersed herself in the culture of her new homeland. Deeply appreciative of Palauan art, stories, and food, she collaborated with locals to combine all three into the present book. Illustrated with traditional Palauan woodcut art, this cookery brings together local ingredients with local legends; and it urges women to use their kitchens for the exploration of new foods. In addition to recipes like Cassava Rolls and Small Mangrove Clam Soup, each recipe's instructions is accompanied by a narrative about its ingredients and service. To the rear, Owen introduces readers to animals and plants that may not be familiar to them, including anemones, sea cucumbers, and pineapples. In total, the small, mimeographed book is an invitation for readers to explore and embrace another culture -- one that Owen herself would become passionate about preserving through the foundation of the Palau Museum, the first heritage museum in Micronesia. "Living in Palau has opened a new window onto the vista of the world. I would like you to share some of the view with me." (Item #3047)