The men who would be king

photographs Jon Tonks ; text Christopher Lord

Why do men dream of being worshipped by people on the other side of the world? It is an old fantasy, going back to the early explorers as imperial powers cast their eyes hungrily around the world. From Captain Cook to Hernan Cortes, they all came back with a peculiar tale that they’d been received as a god by the people they encountered in distant lands. In Vanuatu, an archipelago nation in the South Pacific, the old dream is still very much alive. The Men Who Would Be King tells the stories of men from Europe and America who go to Vanuatu claiming or believing they are the fulfilment of a prophecy on the islands that says a divine man will one day come from overseas.

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