Solomon Islands. During the year, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up that would go through abuses committed in connection with the civil war in 1999-2000. According to countryaah, the Commission’s work began at a ceremony with the participation of South African Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, who led a similar work in his home country. Prime Minister Derek Sikua had been active in setting up the commission and he had apologized on behalf of the nation for abuses and injustices committed during the war on the main island against immigrants from the island of Malaita. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation SB which stands for the nation of Solomon Islands.
The Sikh government was criticized after a proposal by Finance Minister Snyder Rini, who, in the midst of the economic crisis, wanted the state to reward certain members of parliament and their wives generously. The proposal led to a legal battle and was rejected by the Supreme Court and the Chancellor of Justice, who found that it had no legal support.
In November, riots broke out after a football match between the islands of Malaita and Honiara. Police were injured in stone throwing and the National Football Association’s office was burned down.
The ethnological picture of the Solomon Islands archipelago is very complex, given that the influences of the main cultures held in Melanesia made themselves felt in these islands. In the southern regions of Bougainville and in some other islands certain customs persisted which, in Oceania, are reflected in the Tasmanian cultural layer (cremation of corpses). The bottom of the population has melanesid characters. The most representative type would be, according to Thurnwald, that of the Mono of the Shortlands. In the mountainous regions of Bougainville the population is heavily mixed with a brachycephalic pygmoid element.
As in all of Melanesia, the tribal economy is also based on agriculture in the Solomons. The main cultivated plants are taro, yam, bananas and coconut palms. The food of the natives is mainly vegetable. Meat foods are provided by domestic animals (pigs, dogs, poultry), by hunting products (wild boars, possums, bats, birds) and by fishing. Animals are captured by means of traps, nets and, at Nissan, also with arrows shot using bamboo bows.
The villages are composed of huts with a rectangular base with a gabled roof, built on the ground or on stilts. The residents of Isabella also build tree houses to protect themselves from the raids of headhunters. In the “houses of men” tribal councils and ceremonies are held in many places and the skulls of ancestors and the bones of chiefs are preserved. The authority of the leaders is not very great; it is mainly based on the personal prestige and the economic possibilities of the family, since even in cases where the office is hereditary (Buin), it becomes effective only if the successor has the necessary means to give a big party and build a hut for the celebration of ceremonies. L’ social organization varies in the different islands and also in the different districts of the same island. The tribes of the northern part of Bougainville and the central regions of St. Christopher are divided into two exogamous matriarchal classes. In Santa Anna, Santa Catalina and other islands, the tribes are divided into totemic clans of maternal descent. Bird totems are very common on these islands. Secret societies are very numerous (Ruk-Ruk, Matambala).
The religion of these peoples is based on the cult of the dead (Tamate) and on that of the spirits of nature (Figona). Some of the main divinities belonging to these two classes of spirits have characters derived perhaps (by syncretism) from the belief in a supreme being (Agunua). Magic is widespread. The violation of the taboo is feared. The funeral rites are very varied. Burial is practiced, often followed by the exhumation of the bones, which are stored in a small hut or thrown into the sea. On the northern islands, the entire body is thrown into the sea. In S. Anna the bodies of the chiefs, enclosed in a wooden coffin carved in the shape of a fish, are hung from the ceiling of the hut. In the southern part of Bugainville and in the neighboring islands, the bodies are burned. The tribes that practice this funeral rite do not eat human flesh, a custom that was very much in honor, however, and perhaps still persists in some places, in the other islands of the archipelago. There was a real trade in human flesh in Bougainville; to procure it, expeditions were organized between distant tribes and small islands. In many cases the anthropophagy had a ritual purpose. Headhunting was also in use on these islands.
The clothing of the residents of the Solomon Islands is very skimpy and is reduced to a belt of vegetable fiber for the males and a short cloth wrapped around the hips for the girls. Married women wear a kilt of fibers. But often girls go totally naked. The same can be said for the tribes of the interior. More varied and richer are the personal ornaments. The tattoo is unknown, but scarification is practiced. Much care is taken by males in styling their hair, which is arranged to form a large spherical mass. The face and even the hair of the young warriors are dyed red or white. On the chest, the warriors wear characteristic disc-shaped plates of finely engraved tridacna. Shell bracelets and necklaces adorn the limbs. Men sometimes wear visors of intertwined fibers to shield their eyes from sunlight; headdresses of pandanus leaves are also in use, which hang down the back for shelter from the rain.
Among the main products of indigenous industries are the smooth stone hatchets, bows and arrows, used as combat weapons in the northern islands, artistically decorated spears, heavy and deadly hardwood clubs. The wood carvings are artistic, especially the dinghy ornaments, the cases for storing human skulls, and the intertwining of vegetable fibers. The residents of the coastal regions are skilled builders of dinghies and pirogues.