Reading About the Solomon Islands – Living Tradition: A Changing Life in Solomon Islands

Super tough to find much of anything for the Solomon Islands that didn’t have to do with the battle at Guadalcanal. An interesting, worthwhile topic of course, but not really in keeping with my reading goals.

I eventually settled on an autobiography written in the late ’90s called Living Tradition: A Changing Life in Solomon Islands. It’s the life story of a gentleman named Michael Kwaioloa, as told to anthropologist Ben Burt.

Mr. Kwaioloa was born and raised on the island of Malaita, where he experienced the dual cultures of traditional Solomon life combined with the more recent addition of born-again Christianity.

Village near Auki,the capital of Malaita
Village near Auki,the capital of Malaita
(image by By Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, via Wikimedia Commons)

As is the case with many young people, Mr. Kwaioloa wanted to see the world beyond the boundaries of his childhood, so he struck out for greener pastures. He eventually settled in the capital city of Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal, where he married and is raising his family.

Autobiographies can be difficult. You only find out as much as the author wants to reveal. Toss in the filter of an anthropologist, and there’s even more distance. I felt as if I got a brief glimpse into life in a place I’m not familiar with, but nothing too in-depth. Still, I am glad to have read the book, and will keep my eye out for more info on a very interesting culture.

Honiara (By Friars Balsam (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons)


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