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In 1926, Philip. J. Fisher published “The Island Heritage. Episodes from the Missionary History of Fernando Poo, West Africa. A Play for Young People”. This book has remained unknown until present. There is one copy at Archives and Special Collections, SOAS Library (London).

This play is of enormous interest not just for it has been mentioned above but also because:

  1. It is a vivid narration of the settlement of Protestant missionaries in Clarence, based on historical facts and personal experience collected first hand by Philip. J. Fisher as he interviewed some of the protagonists in the play.

  2. It is the first document with paragraph-length documented in Pichi, the Pidgin English (acrolect) originated in Clarence upon the arrival of liberated slaves who arrived with British colonizers in 1827, called Fernandinos (Sundiata 1975, 1996).

  3. It adopts the format of a play, something unusual until recent years, to the point that it can be considered the first work of this genre in the Equatoguinean colonial letters.

The play tells the History of the Baptist Church work in Fernando Po and the missionaries’ vision to expand their proselytizing project in the mainland, which was achieved later on in Igumale, Nigeria. It is a piece of the British colonial archive, as we learn what was at stake on foreign policy between Spain - the official colonial power - and Great Britain regarding the African territories of Fernando Po (present day Bioko Island).

The translation from English to Spanish has been made by Susana Castillo-Rodríguez keeping in mind the historical context, the language change and the potential reader today. The ongoing second phase of this project is the English Critical Edition, provided as an annotated transcription here as the 2022 version, but the project is live and open for comments at the project's main website:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

TheIslandHeritage-Spanish.pdf (214 kB)
Spanish & Pichi translation