Solomon Islands - Tikopia

[June 2012]

 

Tikopia!

We thought of Tikopia as an elusive destination but finally got to visit in June 2012. The coral filled open roadstead anchorage was at least protected from tradewinds, though williwaws often formed when winds picked up.

Lapita Tikopia Goes to Sea...

traveling to Lata on Ndendo Island, 200 miles downwind, to pick up a Norwegian visitor.

Munchkins

These little devils helped us carry our dinghy but also mistook Bacio for a plaything, leaving her frosted in sand every time we went ashore.

Lollies

These children hadn't seen a candy in at least seven months since the last sailboat visited. It's difficult to imagine a little bit of candy would hurt them and we were happy to oblige.

Munchinized

Bacio after the kids explored on her.

Te Ariki Tafua

Tikopia's Chief Edward and his grandson Jessie

Tikopian Home

Crawl inside one of these homes and you'll find strong wooden beams and cozy corners covered in palm mats. Rain does not penetrate the roof.

Susan, Jessie and Friend

Fourteen year old Susan, another of the chief's grandchildren, took us on a tour of Matautu village.

Boys

This young man was perhaps ten years old and already showed signs of losing his teeth due to chewing betel nut, a habit that seems indemic to the South Pacific islands.

Tam Tam

Accompanies the dance club of Tikopia.

The Dancers Emerge...

from the woods. The dance was performed for our benefit alone.

Practice for Competition

In the upcoming Pacific Arts Festival, these dancers will compete with others from many of the Pacific Island nations.

Dances...

some slow and graceful and others..

Macho men

Exurberence

Especially this fellow on the right.

Native Wear...

includes annointing their bodies with tumeric as well as wearing tumeric flowers as headwear.

Symbolism

Each dance told a story according to the narrative provided to us by Chief Edward

Ladies...

of all ages and some with definite signs of other ethnicities (see the lady at right; some Chinese maybe?)

The Stick Dance...

was our favorite since it requried close coordination of the dancers who would rhythmically strike his stick with his companion's.

Related

The young lady at right is Chief Edward's niece and he was quite pleased that Philip chose to include her in the picture.

Tumeric Shoulders

Note also the tumeric flower necklace.

Stick Dance...

women style.

Saying Goodbye

After an afternoon of visiting, we exchanged little gifts and reluctantly said our goodbyes; forecasted westerly weather would make the anchorage untenable.

Lolly Traders

Susan and Danny followed us back to Carina to collect the last of our good lollies that we'd bartered for eggs.