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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Solomon Islands (5 galleries) >> Malaita, Solomon Islands tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Honiara, Solomon Islands | Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands | New Georgia, Solomon Islands | Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands | Malaita, Solomon Islands

Malaita, Solomon Islands

Malaita is different. The people, an energetic breed, still make shell money used for bride price transactions and build their houses upon man-made coral islands. Tourism has barely begun to develop.

Auki’s waterfront market buzzed with activity, but even so it took another hour to fill a launch with enough other passengers to embark on the run down to Langalanga Lagoon. Here my hostess Serah Kei, and her family, form an extended community, their island cottages linked by walkways of crushed coral. Serah’s Lagoon Hideaway is a single over-water bungalow with walls of split bamboo, and furnished with distinctively feminine touches: potted plants, strings of gleaming cowrie shells framing doors and windows and a comfortable sofa looking out across the water from the verandah.

Serah arranged a demonstration of shell money manufacture: five people clad in traditional costume cut shells to the size of small buttons, buffed them, drilled holes in each, strung them up and applied the final polishing with a whetstone. The resulting necklaces, thick of ropes of shell buttons, are sold and traded all over the archipelago.

Langalanga was no forest-clad wilderness, but rather, a patchwork of activity with canoes and motor launches gliding constantly between man-made islets and even boat building yards.
The short flight from Honiara to Auki
The short flight from Honiara to Auki
Children gathered at Auki airstrip
Children gathered at Auki airstrip
Auki's busy harbour
Auki's busy harbour
Morning market in Auki
Morning market in Auki
Fish arranged in the Auki market
Fish arranged in the Auki market
Stallholders selling betelnut
Stallholders selling betelnut
Hawksbill turtle for sale
Hawksbill turtle for sale
School athletics at Auki
School athletics at Auki
Rusting landing craft (?) in Auki harbour
Rusting landing craft (?) in Auki harbour
Family in a dugout canoe
Family in a dugout canoe
Dugout canoe and paddle
Dugout canoe and paddle
Lilisiana village, across the bay at Auki
Lilisiana village, across the bay at Auki
Entering Lilisiana
Entering Lilisiana
Lilisiana's general store
Lilisiana's general store
Lilisiana, children playing
Lilisiana, children playing
Lilisiana
Lilisiana
Two brothers
Two brothers
Lilisiana kids
Lilisiana kids
Kindergarten class, Lilisiana
Kindergarten class, Lilisiana
Lilisiana Beach
Lilisiana Beach
Houses at Langalanga Lagoon
Houses at Langalanga Lagoon
Landing at Serah's Lagoon Hideaway
Landing at Serah's Lagoon Hideaway
Landing at Serah's Lagoon Hideaway
Landing at Serah's Lagoon Hideaway
Clams in shallow water at Serah's
Clams in shallow water at Serah's
The bungalow at Serah's Hideaway
The bungalow at Serah's Hideaway
Balcony of the bungalow at Serah's
Balcony of the bungalow at Serah's
Cowrie shells add a feminine touch
Cowrie shells add a feminine touch
Tourist in a hammock
Tourist in a hammock
Homestay operator, Malaita
Homestay operator, Malaita
View from Serah's Hideaway
View from Serah's Hideaway
Evening view from Serah's Hideaway
Evening view from Serah's Hideaway
Shell money demonstration at Serah's
Shell money demonstration at Serah's
Drilling the shell money
Drilling the shell money
Sunset through the bungalow window
Sunset through the bungalow window
Sunset over Langalanga Lagoon
Sunset over Langalanga Lagoon