Sikaiana Website In Progress

Hello. I plan to continue to add material to this website and blog.

The materials in this website are based upon over three years of ethnographic research between 1980-1993. Visitors are advised that most of these materials were collected over 25 years ago and are not necessarily relevant or accurate concerning present-day Sikaiana life. The materials include an ethnographic description of their lives, a dictionary, photographs, songs and other resources. Visitors who want a quick overview of Sikaiana life can go to the PowerPoints under resources, here.

This site is constantly being updated and revised. Although most of the materials have been uploaded, there are still a some materials that will be added. Visitors might want to check back for additions and updates.

I am indebted to Douglas Scott of Kutztown University for technical advice in developing this site.

Comments can be placed on this page, below.

I have changed the website to being “in progress.” I have some more materials to add but much of the material is here. I am adding an article by Pastor George Vann concerning global warming and Sikaiana under resources. This is a very important issue. I hope to continue to add more relevant materials from others.

The materials in this website may be used for educational, cultural and personal reasons. They cannot be used for any commercial interests.

Creative Commons License
Sikaianaarchives by William W. Donner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

59 Responses to Sikaiana Website In Progress

  1. Edmond Heau says:

    Thanks once again for me to comment. The last time I visit Sikaiana was in 1977. After 38 years, in 2015 I visited Sikaiana again for Hugh Saua ordination as a priest. Sikaiana has change a lot and looked more clean I should say. I know you may not be able to make it but Sikaiana becomes a place I am able to connect to those who have gone to be with the Lord!

  2. Rocky Halevaka Levao says:

    Hi, Bill:
    I’m very impressed by your great achievement done for the people of sikaiana today. It is a pleasure reading through the pages in this web and thank you for visiting sikaiana. I heard stories about you only when I grew up. Anyway, I do believe that this web would be very nice and suitable for generation today and generation to come as this will be a site where culture and history can also be told..Thank you..

    • admin says:


      Thank you for visiting the site and your kind comments. I am very happy that you find the site useful and interesting. I knew Levao while I was living among the Sikaiana, perhaps your grandfather? Take care.



  3. Florence Noholia says:

    Thank you Bill Donner for taking your time to create such a touching website for our beautiful Henua o Sikaiana. This is a beautiful site indeed: very helpful also, especially for those of us young generations to be able to learn about our own culture, our grandparents that we never met, our ancestors, and most importantly learn what was like in the past. For those of us who lived overseas,we found this page to be very helpful, not only in school purpose but also other needs: for me, I like to listen to the songs when I’m sad; homesick. Also, I like to sing a lot in Sikaiana language because growing up, my father used to sing many Sikaiana songs; therefore listening to these songs makes me feel as if I’m home, not far across the ocean.
    Once again, thank you for making Sikaiana not only known to the world but known to those of us who are trying our best to learn our own culture, values, and families backgrounds.
    Malo, Mahalo, Fa’fetai, THANK YOU!!

    • admin says:


      Thank you for your kind words. My time on Sikaiana was a great pleasure and I hope that people can learn from the website. I see from your other post that Johnson Siota is your grandfather. He was very helpful to me and a very funny person. I have many fond memories of him and Sikaiana.

      Best wishes.

      • Florence says:

        Yes indeed, Siota is my grandpa, my mother is his daughter, I never met him so thank you for sharing such a wonderful pictures for us young generations.

  4. Ronnie says:

    Hello Bill, I must salute you for your great accomplishment in achieving our traditional songs, chants, language tattoos etc…without your achievement we would not come to know all these things.

    The sikaiana fast growing generation today has very little knowledge about our traditional songs, chants, language etc…which I see it a serious issue for our island. But with what you’ve published and the website itself I hope our young generation today and in the future would find it a lot resourceful in their learning.

    In December 2010 I’ve release a sikaiana album and video clip with the help of Stoney Piva and my elder sister Janny Kavalua. Back then I knew how influencing modern music with overseas artists to our young generation hence we recorded the album to give a taste of real sikaiana music and help our young people understand our language through music.

    Today I’m very glad to hear our songs are always played on our local fm stations in Honiara and very much enjoyed by not only sikaiana people but also other provinces and even other pacific islands.

    Thank you bill for your time and polaoi kia kou tou katoa….


    • admin says:


      Thanks for you comments. Glad that you find the site helpful and interesting. Happy to find that Sikaiana songs are being played on radio. Hope that this website will be show the accomplishments of the Sikaiana people and serve to show their traditions and heritage.

  5. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    At last our remembered oral traditions and stories are recorded in books and electronic copies. Laoi haeko kia koe Bill…

    • admin says:


      Once again, thank you so much for your kind comments. I hope the site is useful for the people of Sikaiana. As you know, your father was very helpful in my life on Sikaiana and in Honiara. I discuss him in the ethnography. He helped with the dictionary and there are many pictures. Best to your mother, Kate, and all the others from Sikaiana.

  6. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    Thanks Bill for acknowledging my dad

  7. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    Our youngsters who did not know what was like on Sikaiana in the 80’s can access this site to read and see our heritage.

  8. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    We are in 2014, but thanks to you Bill for your great and outstanding work that will always remind us of what is like in the 80’s.

  9. A nau a Louisa Pakai Hayward says:

    Hi Bill, a nau a Pakai, heiloa la koe ei loa ekoe anau, ka anau ia haka hiahia haeko itau Sikaiana Archives. A nau ni haka lono ki na mako o mua la kapihi tu oku kili, maiko a nau ni tupu mai mana mako na. E laoi haeko tatou ki talatala i Sikaiana . Toku haka laoi atu kitau hekau maha nei. A nau, Pakai.

    • admin says:


      Thank you haeko i tau talatala nei. A anau e hakahiahia pe laa a koe e lavaka ki hakalono ki na mako ma na laa mea i ki nei.

  10. I think I’ve meet you but was a kid then. My mother is Margaret Teatumoana (Makeleta) and father, John Teihilua. I met you when you come to visit my grandmother, Fane Telena at Kukum. What you have done for our people becomes a history to many up coming generation and I just want to thank you for it. Wish you all the best!

    • admin says:


      Thanks so much for visiting the site. Sorry, I do not remember you, but I do remember Makaleta and Teihilua and have fond memories of them. I will always remember Makaleta for her sense of humor. Fane was an immense help in my research and you will find that a lot of the information she gave me is on the website. Best to you and your family.

  11. Dear Mr Donner.

    Thank you so much for the job well done… You were left with a good heart of the Sikaiana people and the memory is still appear by means of writing this article about the culture, history and more… New generation will see this article and would remember and keep for the future generation. Once again thank you and wish you and family a happy day..

    For your homework, elevaka akoe ki tressed mae na tama ni lano ite vaka Melanesia ite malama ia 10th July 1958. Anau e suspected mi to kave ite henua ia Peru… keep this messages in mind. Toku uncle ni lano haoki ite vaka no male a Ishmael Memeau….

    • admin says:


      Thank you so much for you kind comments.

      In his reply, Michael referred to the tragic loss of the Melanesia, a government ship, that mysteriously disappeared in 1958 on a trip to Sikaiana with the loss of many Sikaiana people who were on board. When I was on Sikaiana in the 1980s, people still discussed the loss and some believed that the boat had hijacked or taken by a foreign nation. The government investigation was inconclusive.

  12. gordon, babra & shanell says:

    Hi Billy Donner, I am of Scottish descent & married to a Sikaiana woman Babra Matuavi Makolo, we have an adopted Daughter (also Sikaiana, Shanell, grandchild of late Saua). Thank you so much for this website and all the related resources. We live in Tasmania now & it is of so much interest to both myself & my wife. My wife now spends many hours on the site exploring the photos etc, thank you again.

  13. Greg Beniston says:

    Dr. Donner,

    I was reading through sight and it brought back some good memories of your classes back in 200-2003…especially when I did my paper on Masks of the Sepik River Basin. Thanks again for being such a great teacher! Hope all is well!

  14. Prisca Kupe says:

    Hi Bill Donner, looking through your web is very interested and it recall me about the past days of our old people, cuture, and the lovely language that in one stage you told us that one day, our language gonner be fade away and it was true like today all kids speak pidgin and not language anymore. But thanks to you for having this web to see our lovely sweet home (Sikaiana) and our old people of the olden days activities that we do missed them alot and that social happy life styles are gone and the young generation today are not the same anymore. Once again thank you vey much and keep up your good job.

    • admin says:

      Hi Kupe:

      Good to hear from you and thanks for visiting the website. Sorry to learn that the language is being lost. Is it being lost back on Sikaiana island? Regards and best to all the wantoks.

      Tokanaa a koe koi lavaka ki talatala. Te nei, anau e ssili– e mmao haeko. Maatou i ki nei e laoi. Taku tanata matua e 18 i te ia, te laa tanata e 15. Kave toku “regards” ki te kau tama o Sikaiana.

  15. Pastor George Vann says:

    Hi Warwick! Apologise for this delay. Good to hear from you. My email address is Pass our love to Nancy and children.

    • Warwick says:

      G’day George. Now it’s my turn to apologise. We were listening to some Sikaiana music this morning (as there’s no church service today!) and I said to Nancy, “Some time ago I was trying to contact George via the Sikaiana Archives website, but I didn’t get in touch.” I opened the website to show her and there was your message. Good to hear from you. I’ll send an email.
      Best wishes to you and family

  16. Gloria Tapakea (Suluia) says:

    Would like to join others in thanking you for the great work you’ve done. I found this website extremely useful, both for academic purposes as well as to learn more about my island and history. I’m most grateful that somebody did care to undertake such study/work in such an isolated island. At least my children and grand children can learn more about their history and identity through this website. Many thanks Billy for a job well done. You may not know me but my mum (late Silva Teano) used to be a teacher at Tapuaki School. Not sure if you have any private e-mail as I’m very interested to ask you some questions.

    • admin says:

      Hi Gloria:

      Thanks for visiting the site. I do remember you and your mother. Your mother was always very kind. I know I have pictures of both of you, but I am not sure whether they are posted are not. I still have some materials to add to the site.


  17. Rita Sim says:

    This page is really fascinating and i like it very much. I’m always used to hearing stories from old people from home (sikaiana). It’s very interesting i get to see all the pictures and even learn more about our language.

    • admin says:

      Thanks again Mary Tefa for visiting the site. Your father was very helpful to me and there are many pictures of him throughout the site, especially in the sections about making a canoe and bird net. Regards to all the wantoks.

  18. Pastor George Vann says:

    Hi Bill! Caught up with you again, on this site. Good Work indeed.

    • admin says:

      George I have added your article on global warming. It is here.

      or you can go to the website under Resources. Sorry for the delay.

    • Warwick Brooker says:

      G’day George. Good to catch up with you again too! Are you at home?

      I see you have the same global warming concerns that your atoll relatives further north have – Nukumanu, Takuu and Nuguria. The situation is getting pretty bad at Takuu. The non-Polynesian atoll of Carteret is also in a bad way. These atolls are administered by the Autonomous Bougainville Government, which is trying to get on its feet following the civil war, with the ultimate goal of achieving independence a few years down the track. It doesn’t have the financial capacity to worry too much about outlying atolls at this stage!

      God bless you and family


      • admin says:


        Thanks for the posting. I am forwarding it to George.

        • Warwick Brooker says:

          Thanks Admin (Bill?). A mutual friend Richard Moyle directed our Atolls Te Marae Yahoo Group to your website when we were discussing the language similarity of various atoll communities. My wife Nancy, from Nuguria Atoll, says the language closest to her own, which she’s come across, is Sikaiana. We were with George and Florrie at Betikama High School in 1991-92.
          Regards, Warwick

          • admin says:


            Thanks you for visiting the site. I am interested to hear that Nuguria and Sikaiana are very close. I also think that the Sikaiana language is very close to the Takuu langauge. Feel free to use the dictionary section of the site as you see proper for your interests in Nuguria. Richard Moyle has written a dictionary of Takuu that you will also find useful.

            The rising sea level is a very deep concern.


  19. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    Hi, Bill. Anau e ohia ki vesili atu koia pela, ea, ehai tulana akoe e au muli ki Solomon o lave muli ite meana o Sikaiana?
    This site is really an achive/library for the people of Sikaiana coz i think many of the things you wrote and spoke about and the old photos of our old people who have died are no where to be seen on and with the people of Sikaiana. There are also beautiful pictures of how Sikaiana is like way back in the 80’s.
    Thankyou so much Bill for your great and wonderful work, we and others can now access informations,photos and sweet memories on/about Sikaiana in this site/archive/library. Continue with the site construction.
    Polai kia koe Bill mato avana moulua ttamaliki

    • admin says:

      Hi Hugh:

      Thanks again for visiting the site. I hope it will become part of Sikaiana heritage. Please feel free to include suggestions and tell the same to wantoks. I have some more material to add but it might take a while. Feel free to download whatever materials (photos, songs, diagrams) that you want.

      Aloha hano pee taku talatala nei e he tonu ma te tuaa o te talatala o Sikaiana. I te tulana nei e hainata ki lave muli i te meana o Sikaiana. Aku tama koi sikulu. Ka muli nei, anau e toka atu. Ka te la mea te la e sala tapamea– anau ku maatua. Anau e he tamataane poi taku nohoana imua i Sikaiana. Kiaiana, anau e hakateletele tahi iki koutou ma te hakahiahia.

      Po laoi and regards,


  20. Wilson Karamui Bugotu says:

    Bill Donner,

    Thank you so much for your time and tremendously important and good work. You have my deepest regard for this. We will always hold high and respect the beauty of our ancestry and the journey of a people.

    Late Tealoa is my grandfather and Late Siauwahi is my grandmother.



  21. Fr Wilson Temita says:


    There was a publication you made in which the cover page was the picture of TUKIU sitting with a bottle of Kaveve. I think it would very good information if you can include also in this site.

    So far this was the best so far…..I have informed my anthropology lecture about this and he was very impressed about it. Keep up the good work and looking forward to see more.

  22. Hugh Blessing Saua says:

    Laoi haeko pela akoe ni penapena te website nei ki hakamata na tuputupu mate ola o Sikaiana kite meana katoa. Anau e kauatu hoki toku hakalaoi pela akoe ni tata te laumea ote talatal o Sikaiana(Dictionary) maeko te talatala o Sikaiana ka lano. Poki mea la, e oti akoe ku au muli o ako aki matou kite matou talatala.
    Thankyou so much for your inspiring website.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Hugh. I remember you well from when you were young. A koe e he lanomea te talatala o Sikaiana. Too tamana ni soimai haeko i te hekau nei.

  23. Ernest Teutao says:

    Am hoping to enjoy this site after i finish all my exams. I’ve heard much about your work and I it seems to me you are a popular figure in the tiny Sikaiana community. Well done and good work.

  24. Hi Donner,
    Thanks so much for you great work! It’s such an inspiration to all our younger generations to come.
    Especially for the Dictionary,songs, traditional tattoos and pictures which most of them we don’t really know about but still alive and kept well in your website.
    I am the son of John Tepepe Kilatu living and working in singapore now so I missed out on alot as i grew up.
    But the best thing is that you capture alot of pictures of my late grandfather John Kilatu and i’m so happy for that, but sadly i grew up without even seeing him.
    As a kid I remember seeing you in sikaiana around 89 to 90’s i couldn’t exactly remember what year.
    Your work will be very much appreciated for more generations to come and i’m pretty sure your name is gonna be in our hearts for ever!
    Best wishes to you and your family.


    Fredrick Kilatu.

    • admin says:

      Hi Frederick:

      Thanks for visiting the site. Your grandfather was a very kind and wise person. He helped immensely with the dictionary. I also wrote about him in the ethnography in chapter 8. His picture is at the top of every web page. During a visit by Prime Minister Salomon Mamaloni in 1982, your grandfather performed some traditional ceremonies and acted the part of the chief (aliki). I hope you enjoy the materials.

  25. Travolta Patau says:

    Thanks for this site, i heard alot of stories about you and your research but never get much information about it……most of the people in those pictures i never seen them but its good you have the pictures……..once again thank you very much for this site it help us, most sikaiana new generation nowa days……

    • admin says:

      Thank you Travolta. Aloha hano pee aku talatala nei e he tonu, e mao haeko a nau ni he talatala i te talatala o Sikaiana. A nau e hitiake pe laa i taku nohoana i Sikaiana, anau ni lono pe laa te tama e male ki te American Actor, John Travolta. Tokanaa i te tulana laa, a koe ni likiliki.

      Thanks again for looking at the site.

  26. Fr Wilson Temita says:

    Bill Donner, Thank you very much for this…….I am so pround as I am also from Sikaiana and still remeber as a small boy when you came. By the I am Sisilos cousin and currently into my final year – Bachelor of Theology….

    Will appreciate hearing from you…..A nau ku hakahiahia haeko….poloai ki akoe

    • admin says:

      Hi Wilson. Thanks for visiting the site and be sure to share with all the wantoks. The site is not finished yet. I still have to add songs that I collected. Please feel free to include any comments. I hope this site will be a forum for a discussion about Sikaiana. Kave toku “hello” ki te kau tama i Sikaiana. Aloha haeko pe laa e mao anau ni he talatala i te talatala o Sikaiana, te nei e hainata.

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