Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom
The “Roatan History of The Bay Islands” is a 294 pages oversize coffee table book.

A Coffee Table book Presents Fashionable and Complex Perspective on the Bay Islands

Roatan needs books written about it as any culture needs artists, writers, musicians, sculptors and poets. A culture that wants to survive and thrive also need chroniclers that document its past and its present. The large format coffee table book “Roatan and the History of the Bay Islands” does exactly that. Masterfully printed in Italy with delightful illustrations by Vanda Ilyina and Roque Zelaya. Roatan & the History of Bay Islands is a combined effort of Lizzette Pozzi, Ronald Pozzi, several dozen photographers, and illustrators.

Some of the book contributors are less known, others are very well known. The forward for the book was written by Ricardo Maduro, former Honduran president. The vibrant, colorful and engaging photographs were taken by some of Roatan’s best photographers: Ronald Pozzi, Shawn Jackson, Tim Blanton and Chris Bergler.

The book is divided into three chapters. The first chapter “Roatan Today” is the most ample with photos and is a capsule of Roatan from 2010s. The book’s pages are filled with rich and marvelous photographs, providing a look at Roatan and the Bay Islands through the eyes of great photographers.

Roatan is full of models and stunning landscapes. The book’s pages are interspersed with nuggets of introspection, and knowledge from entrepreneurs, islanders, educators, and artists. There are fascinating underwater photographs and exquisite landscape photos. There are portraits of islanders and fashion models with Roatan being their runway.

Chapter two “Introduction” is a historical analysis of the Bay Islands. “Roatan and the History of the Bay Islands” documents the history of the Bay Islands dating back to 600 AD and Paya settlements on the archipelago. The book presents photos of Paya yaba-ding-dings, beautifully crafted Paya vases, vessels and stele.

Roatan is in stride to keep the memory of the Bay Islands on our minds.

The island history is presented in words, through reprints of original documents, etchings and maps. There is the striking etchings from Columbus’ fourth voyage to the Americas, and the story of William Claiborne who funded a colony on Roatan in the 1630s.

The third chapter “Old Maps of the Bay Islands” presents a complete overview of Bay Islands in European maps. These are the virtually unknown 1506 maps by Alejandro Zorzi.

The maps generously displayed in the book are a delight to study. The Spanish, Dutch, French and English explorers portrayed the mysterious Bay Islands on the edges of the western Caribbean with expertise, imagination and increasing accuracy over centuries.

In the book’s 294 pages, the authors created a time capsule of Roatan that will serve as a reference point for generations to come. Sometimes it takes a visitor, or a transplant to tell us how rich a culture truly is.

People who don’t appreciate their history are bound to lose it. With books like that being published, Roatan is in stride to keep the memory of Bay Islands on our minds. The book is not only a venture into the island’s colorful, vibrant and diverse presence, but also offers a critical analysis of centuries of human presence in the archipelago.

“Roatan and the History of the Bay Islands” is available for purchase at the Buccaneer in French Harbour.