Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (, and the historical time period in which she lives.

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I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Real Explorers: Osa Johnson in Cannibal Territory

Osa and Martin Johnson traveled the mining camps, showing Martin’s lantern show while Osa dressed in a flowered mumu and sang Hawaiian songs. Eventually their popularity increased to the point where backers invested $4000 in them. Their next stop: the South Seas. They arrived in the Solomon Islands in 1917.

Osa never became a tag-along wife. Like the character of Jade, Osa had a natural ability to pick up languages. That along with her charm and her bravery earned the native people’s trust quickly and allowed Martin to film everyday life in the villages. Martin, however, wanted to capture footage of cultures untainted by any contact with civilization so together they sailed to one of the more remote islands of the New Hebrides to look for the more fierce tribes of cannibal headhunters. That is when Osa came face to face with Nagapate, the chief of the Big Nambas tribe. Osa described him as “so frightful as to be magnificent.”

While Osa posed near the chief, Martin cranked film. It soon became apparent that the tribesmen were showing far too much interest in the Johnsons for their own safety. Osa and Martin bolted and ran for their lives through the jungle, headhunters in hot pursuit. They barely escaped and only because a British Man-o’-war steamed into view at the end of the chase. Later, the Johnsons returned to Malekula Island with their film of Nagapate. Osa played hostess while Martin filmed the Islanders’ first encounter seeing their own images on screen. This time, Nagapate tried to court Osa and once again, the Johnsons left before the situation got out of hand.


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