Aloha Solomons by Gwen Cross. Recommended retail price $ 10.
The personal experiences of Sister Gwen Cross involving culture, education, WWII, economic change - reflecting 30 years of Solomon Islands history.
This remarkable woman spent about 30 of her 83 years in the Solomon Islands, where she went in 1923. It is an amazing story of communicating across cultures, of creating with one's hands, of fleeing in the jungle from Japanese troops during World War II, of participating in the education and growth of Solomon Islands and its people. If you pick it up, you won't put it down until you're through! Soft cover, 156 pp.
Click here for illustration from Aloha Solomons
Bellona Island Beliefs and Rituals by Torben Monberg. Published by University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN-082481147X. Recommended retail price $40.
The religion of Bellona Island was suddenly replaced by Christianity in 1938. The religion as it existed before 1938 is the subject of this book. Bellona and Rennell islands are Polynesian outliers in the Solomon Islands. In pre-European times, and with minor variations, the cultures of the two islands were almost identical. Both were relatively isolated over many centuries, and their peoples were among the last Pacific Islanders to experience the presence of Europeans in the region. With the arrival of missionaries in 1938, conversion to Christianity became rapid. As common elsewhere in the Pacific, traditional beliefs were ridiculed, and rituals and ceremonies of great antiquity were soon abolished. Monberg's account of the Bellonese religion is description at its best. Hard cover, 449 pages. Published in 1991.
Bina Bina: the making of a Gela War Canoe by Robert T. Pule. Published
by the Institute of Pacific Studies.ISBN 9820201659. Recommended retail price
More than just a book about how a traditional Gela war canoe - Bina Bina - is made Bina Bina - a book about a peoples' pride in their culture; about pride in the skills handed down from generation to generation of men who made canoes like the Bina Bina; about pride in the communal effort required to build such craft and which is still a feature of Melanesian societies like that of Gela
Bina Bina - a book about Gela, a lesser-known part of Solomon Islands, about the Gela people, about the things of Gela threatened by what is happening in the 1980's
Bina Bina - a book by a man proud of his traditions, but aware that they are in danger of being forgotten
Bina Bina - an important part of Gela tradition "comes back with a loud noise to take its proper place among customs and traditions of our ancestors " Soft cover, 44 pages. Published in 1983.
(45k)The Confession and Other Stories by Julian Maka’a. Recommended retail price $8.
(20k)Custom Stories from Choiseul by Colin Rugebatu & 16 others. Recommended retail price $14.
See also More Custom Stories from Choiseul
(32k)Eleven Stories from Ranongga/Manoga Maka Vavakato pa Ganoqa by Lesieli ‘Atonio and 7 others. Recommended retail price $14.
Givers of Wisdom, Labourers Without Gain: Essays on Women in Solomon Islands by Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820201543. Recommended retail price $17.
Pacific Islanders and other readers will find much that is important and fascinating in these essays by a Solomon Islander who is a committed activist for women and former Director of her government's Women's Welfare Division.
The book's five chapters begin with a survey of the general situation of women in Solomon Islands, followed by detailed case studies of the problems faced by rural women in southern Malaita, the Christian reaction to the traditional 'Are' practice of brideprice, and the trials and tribulations of Honiara's market women. The collection concludes with a survey of the guiding principles and work strategies of the Women's Welfare Division, Government of Solomon Islands. Soft cover, 112 pages. Published in 2000.
(43k)Grassroots Art of the Solomons: Images and Islands. Recommended retail price $8.
Mana; Volume 13, Issue 1: Special Solomon Islands Issue edited by Jullan Treadaway and Linda Crowl. ISBN 037952681301. Recommended retail price $19.
This special issue of Mana, featuring Solomon Islands writing once again, is an attempt by Solomon Islands writers to bring to the forefront and to the surface some of the significant issues seen and felt by them. Soft cover, 152 pages. Published in 2001.
This is Guadalcanal: The original combat photography by L. Douglas Keeney and William S. Butler. ISBN 0688170811. Recommended retail price $15.
In the desperate battle for Guadalcanal, every American soldier had to walk a thin red line between life and death. On August 7, 1942, American Marines waded onto a Pacific island called Guadalcanal.
They encountered jungles, crocodiles, insidious malaria, and a particularly deadly adversary in the Japanese soldier. Only weeks after their defeat at Midway, the Japanese were gutsy, vicious, and prepared to give their own lives to take out just one American. There was no surrender.
Captured by combat photographers, here is the real story of one of America's fiercest battles in the Pacific theater. Men, carriers and other ships, and planes turned a certain defeat into an excruciating yet decisive American victory. Taken in the air, at sea and on land, these are rarely seen photgoraphs from the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Soft cover, 128 pages. Published in 1998.
GIs with Japanese flag
Attack on USS Hornet
GI with Japanese machine gun
(28k)Guardians of Marovo Lagoon: Practice, Place and Politics in Maritime Melanesia by Edvard Hviding. Recommended retail price $45, our price $39.95.
Jungle Islands, my South Sea Adventure by Maria Coffey with Deborah Pearson and photographs by Dag Goering. ISBN 1-55037-596-2. Published by Annick Press. Recommended retail price $14.95.
"The deep marks on the beach were fresh. Even in the dark, I could see they were huge: they looked like they had been made by a bulldozer. But that was impossible. There were no roads leading here, no people around. I crept to the bushes where the tracks led and heard deep grunts. A giant turtle, as big as a bath tub, lay before me ..."
Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you join Maria Coffey on her trip through the Solomons, lush tropical islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Step into her kayak and paddle to remote villages where outsiders haven't been seen in years, and visit the Skull Island burial ground. Spend time on shore as Maria explores a South Sea jungle, sleeps in a traditional leaf hut, and confronts a ferocious crocodile. Short sidebars of information that accompany Maria's story reveal: what it's like to visit a coral reef "garden"; where the bathrooms are in the jungle; what kids love about life in the Solomon Islands and much more. Colorful maps (essential traveller's tools) help you follow Maria's route chapter by chapter.
This is a non-patronising children's book aimed at the 8-15 year old group, but adults will still enjoy it. Soft cover, 88 pages. Published in 2000.
More Custom Stories
from Choiseul collected and illustrated by Sr. M. Gregory, O.P. Recommended
retail price $14.
Stories collected and illustrated by Sr. M. Gregory, O.P. and written by the school children of St. Joseph’s Moli in the Solomon Islands. Miss Matrina Qilaziutu and Mr. Michael Lomiri helped with the translations. The stories include some of the following titles:
The Spirit of the Waterhole
The Woman Who Asked for Lime
The Flying Fox and the Hawk
The Giantess Who Ate Children
Soft cover, 46 pages
See also Custom Stories from Choiseul
Ples Blong Iumi: Solomon
Islands, the past four thousand years
by Sam Alasia and others, edited by Hugh Laracy. Recommended retail price $15.
Solomon Islanders have recorded much of their history - a term which refers both to the events of the past and to ways of viewing those events - in a rich oral tradition, and in a variety of art forms. But hitherto few of them have written about it. Most of the writing about the Solomon Islands has been done by foreigners, araikwao.
Ples Blong Iumi is an important exception. The authors are Solomon Islanders. Academically trained and drawing on a wide range of sources (from archaeology to archives, and including oral tradition), they present a survey of their people's history that is well-informed, wide-ranging and up-to-date; and at once critical yet sympathetic.
Significant as a contribution to an incipient national literature and as a work of scholarly reference, Ples Blong Iumi is also important as an expression of a new political identity. Solomon Islands became an independent nation in 1978. It is fitting, and not before time, therefore, that its own writers should now present the story of their own nation, for the enlightenment of their own people - and for that of the wider audience beyond the Solomons. Soft cover, 176 pp.
Writing from Solomon Islands edited by Julian Maka’a, Hilda Kii and Linda
Crowl. Recommended retail price $25, our price $23.
Raetemaot is contemporary writing from Solomon Islands. Written by nationally and internationally published authors as well as rising stars, this collection is rich in diversity and perspective. The writers discuss Solomon Islands, animals, development and politics, dreams and feelings, the environment, love, mystery, school, songs and many other things. This volume has something for everyone. Includes the writings of Jully Makini & 42 others - poetry, chants and short stories. Soft cover, 165 pages.
Roviana Custom Stories edited by Jully Makini. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820202221. Recommended retail price $15
These stories were collected by Sister Lina Jones and by the Rev. E. C. Leadley in the 1930s and 1940s at Kokeqolo, Roviana Lagoon. They were made available by Rev. E. C. Leadley and Rev. George G. Carter.
This book is dedicated to the late Rev. Carter in recognition of his interest in preserving the oral traditions of Western Province, Solomon Islands. Soft cover, 86 pages. Published in 1991.
by Mark Honan and David Harcombe. Recommended retail price $17.95, our price
The Solomon Islands are still best known as the site of some of the fiercest battles of WWII. This is sad as they have so much more to offer the interested visitor. The Solomon Islands exhibit great cultural diversity, a fascinating flora and fauna and superb diving. Paddy has just come back from a photographic job in the Solomons. He visited the Marovo Lagoon and Rennell Island. The information in this lonely Planet Guide was accurate, up-to-date and relevant. (Check out some Solomon Island pictures by clicking on this link). Soft cover, 281 pages.
Map. recommended retail price $6.95
This is another HEMA map. Renowned for their accuracy and ease of use this 1:1,200,000 scale full color map provides the Solomons bound traveler with an easy to read over-view of this fascinating island arc.
Suremada: Faces from
a Solomon Island village by Rexford Orotaloa. Recommended retail price $10.
Insights into village life in the Solomon Islands are revealed in this delightful collection of short stories by Rexford Orataloa. This is the second book of a talented younger writer. He is currently working on a third. Soft cover, 66 pages.
The Tambu Ground by
Barry Hayes. Recommended retail price $15.
Laugh, cry, look under the bed. Peer down through the sago bark. Smell the tropical breeze. But whatever you do – don’t put the light out!! For every dreamer, a touch of the Pacific, for every Islander, a touch of home. The Tambu Ground breaks the boundaries of stereotype Pacific Islands fiction.
“Yes,” said Jimmy quietly. “He should have died. He made a mistake too, of course. He went for you with a knife. He should have sat in his house and worked up the spirits. Nobody can bash a spirit’s head in. But that’s what he’ll be doing now. That’s what he’s doing with Tanaka’s dress. He’s going to scare her to death. She’ll …”
Jimmy’s theory was cut short. The house suddenly shook as Tapu’s fist crashed through the cement sheet wall.
“Very good, very powerful, exciting, romantic… absolutely magic location. He’s got a damned fine book here.” Rigby Publishers, S.A.
“Well crafted and impressive.” McPhee Gribble
“A good read. Good visual images – dreamlike quality. The visitation of evil is edge of seat stuff. Characters are real people.” Indra Publishing
“The Tambu Ground is not like any other book I have read before. It opened up a window on the world I had previously been unaware of. Well researched and written.” Reader, Boolarong Press
I (Paddy) agree with all of the above. Having spent several months in the Solomon Islands I can vouch for the authenticity of the setting and characterization. Highly recommended. Soft cover, 273 pages.
Click on links below for these books.
Big Death, The: Solomon Islanders remember World War II
Civilized Girl by Jully Sipolo
Mi Mere: Poetry and prose by Solomon Islands Women Writers by Jully Sipolo & 10 other Solomons women
Praying Parents by Jully Sipolo
Romancing the Islands by Kim Gravelle.
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Last modified on Thursday, January 04, 2007