Studio: international art — 34.1905

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Art in the Solomon Islands

ART IN THE SOLOMON IS- With the less bloodthirsty tribes a white man,
LANDS. BY C. PRAETORIUS, having pipes and tobacco, can generally make
p g j{ friends ; however, when a friendly native makes a

gift, it is understood that he is to receive an
The hostility of a few coast tribes in the Solo- equivalent, and " tambak," as he pronounces it, is
mon Islands has, to some extent, been overcome a useful form of currency.

by the good influence of missionaries and traders. The Solomon Islanders wear little clothing, their
In the larger islands there
are vast tracts of the ]§
interior inhabited by
fierce, treacherous tribes,
who forbid all approach ;
unceasing hostility exists

between the bush tribes M "SfllfeSs0' -f^/

and the natives who live %\

on the coast, and the —---^gr^ll^^ . ___ '

only safe' places for bush ^^S^IIXZSHx^---—=^

people to live in are the ^----"

summits of hills, or high

on the mountain sides. canoe from rubiana i.agoon

Many villagers live in a

state of terror, knowing that any day may see only garment being a piece of matting fastened
an attack and wholesale murder, to supply the round the waist. The hair is often stained yellow,
material for the cannibal feast. The successful white, or red, while a process of bleaching is
raids of chiefs in the Island of San Cristoval cause practised, as with the Fijians.

the neighbouring villages continual uneasiness. Owing to the heavy rainfalls, the atmosphere

is humid, and the monsoon causes an enervating
season. To a traveller these evils are fully com-
pensated for by the magnificent views of huge
mountains with peaks which pass through the
clouds; high up on the mountain sides live
natives who have not yet seen white men.

Of all islanders in the South Pacific, the
people of the Solomon Islands excel in the
building and decorating of canoes; they are quite
the best built by what we call a savage people.
The graceful lines and appropriate decoration
of a large war-canoe, manned by eighteen
paddle-men, is evidence of a sense of savage
pageantry. The small details in the ornament
on the canoe, and the graceful lines of the
whole structure, are of good design. A new war-
canoe, which often takes two years to build, is
not ^considered invested with mana, i.e. super-
natural power, until some unfortunate man has
been killed by the crew ; any wanderer is hunted
down and murdered for the purpose, and white
men have occasionally been the victims of these
canoe inauguration expeditions.

Dug-out canoes are rarely seen in the Eastern
Islands of the Solomon group, but are met with
only on creeks or sheltered waters. The best
canoes are all built, and no outrigger is used.
prepared human skuu. from ronongo islands The small canoe in common use Dy the natives

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