POPULATION and EMIGRTATION
(See Explanation at end of chart)
Year People on People away Total Total
Sikaiana from Sikaiana Absent/
171 u 171 u
c 1900 (Svensen, estimate BSIP 27/vii/5)
500 u 500 u
c 1900 (Nerdum 1902, estimate)
1906 (Woodford, estimate)
250 u 250 u
1924 (Census WPHC 1924:2802)
268 u 268 u
1930 (Bishop of Melanesia BSIP 27/vii/5, Lambert 1934)
u u 235 u
1932 (Census BSIP 49/6 item 10)
285 u 285 u
1934 (Bishop of Melanesia BSIP 27/vii/5)
u u 308 u
1936 (Census BSIP 27/vii/5)
242 50 292 17%
Year People on People away Total Total
Sikaiana from Sikaiana Absent/
1939 (Census BSIP 49/6 item 29)
240 52 292 18%
1940 (Census BSIP 49/6 item 54)
272 58 330 18%
1941 (Census BSIP 49/6 item 83)
257 60 317 19%
1945 (Census BSIP 27/vii/5)
u u 318 u
1948 (Census BSIP 49/6)
u u 294 u
1953 (Census BSIP 49/6 item 67)
269 94 363 23%
1955 (Census BSIP 27/vii/5, ADM/A/13 item 28)
224 156 380 41%
1956 (Census ADM/A/13 item 27)
228 174 392 44%
240 138 378 34%
216 174 390 45%
Year People on People away Total Total
Sikaiana from Sikaiana Absent/
1963 (BSIP M 11/1/3)
1966 (BSIP M 11/1/3 item 175)
188 179 366 49%
1976 (Census- Friesen)
235 342 577 59%
248 357 605 59%
178 428 606 70%
222 u u
“U” means unavailable.
The first column lists the date of the census. The second column lists the total number of Sikaiana people residing on Sikaiana. The third column lists the total number of Sikaiana people including both people living on Sikaiana and emigrants. The fourth column lists the total population at the time of the census. The final column is the percentage of population that has emigrated. All entries marked “census” are government conducted censuses found in the National Archives. Fluctuations in some of the years reflect the problems in taking a census among a highly mobile population. See also Woodford 1906, 1916, Bayliss-Smith 1975; BSIP 1 III F 49/6, BSIP 27/VII Item 5. The 1970 figures are found in Groenegwan 1970. The figures for the 1976 census were tabulated from the government census by Ward Friesen of the University of Auckland. Donner’s figures are based on household censuses and include only Sikaiana speaking people with two Sikaiana parents. Children resulting from marriages with non-Sikaiana are not enumerated (except for one household living on Sikaiana in which the children are being brought up speaking Sikaiana.) People outside of the census area (Sikaiana, Honiara) were estimated on basis of genealogies and statements from informants. The 1982 census does not accurately reflect population growth since the Honiara census was done during a different month from the Sikaiana census. At the time of the 1982 Sikaiana census, the atoll had an unusually low population.
Proper and Place Names
Auki the administrative center for Malaita Province.
Bahai Center a neighborhood in Honiara where several families
of Sikaiana live near to one another.
Belama the copra boat which normally makes monthly trips to and from Sikaiana.
Bellonaa Polynesian outlier in the Solomon Islands
with similarities to Sikaiana.
Bungana a school run by the Church of Melanesia.
Commonwealth Development Corporation a company which operates plantations east of Honiara.
Guadalcanal the island where Honiara is located.
Hale the largest islet on Sikaiana where all institutions are located.
Hale Aitu the central ritual house where traditional ceremonies were performed. Located inland from Loto Village, it was destroyed in the late 1920’s and never rebuilt.
Henderson Airport the international airport outside of Honiara;
also the base for American operations during the Battle of
Guadalcanal in World War II.
Hetuna by legend, the original inhabitants of Sikaiana who were killed by Tehui Atahu and his followers.
Hitiana a spiritual location where Tomaniva took Peia to harm her.
Honiara the capital and main port of the Solomon Ilsands.
Isabel a province in the Solomon Islands; several Sikaiana families reside there.
Kaetekita a legendary long-distance voyager who lived several hundred years ago.
Kapingamarangi a Polynesian outlier with cultural similarities to Sikaiana.
Kiribati formerly known as the Gilbert Islands.
Kukum a residential area in Honiara.
Kopuria, Ini the Solomon Islander missionary who led the conversion of Sikaiana.
Kurimarau the name of one of the government ships on which many Sikaiana worked as crew members shortly after World War II.
Levao an ancestor of the Saakava clan, by legend an immigrant
Leitaka the legendary opponent of Vaeoma and the Tona invasion.
Loto a residential area on Hale, Sikaiana.
Luaniua the larger village on Ontong Java, another Polynesian
outlier. By legend the home of Tehui Luaniua, one of Sikaiana’s founder heroes.
Luka The Sikaiana name of a man who met de Quiros on Taumako in 16o6.
Malae the ceremonial grounds located near Hale Aitu in former
times. Now the site of a new school.
Malaita the island nearest to Sikaiana and the province within
which Sikaiana is an administrative unit.
Maravovo an Anglican mission junior school which many Sikaiana
attended, located on the northwest coast of Guadalcanal.
Matanikau River a river through Honiara where Chinatown is
Matuavi the islet on Sikaiana which is located at the southwest
corner of the atoll.
Matuiloto the islet on Sikaiana which is located on the western
side of atoll between Matuavi and TeHaolei.
Mota the language used by the Melanesian Mission as its lingua franca in the 1920s and 30s.
Muli Akau the collective name for the three islets at the western end of Sikaiana: Matuavi, Matuiloto and TeHaolei.
Nukumanu a Polynesian Outlier which cultural similarities to Sikaiana.
Nui An island in Tuvalu or the Ellice Islands which is the home of Taupule.
Ontong Java a Polynesian outlier with many historical and cultural relationships with Sikaiana which continue to the present.
Pawa the Anglican mission’s senior school at Ugi Island near
Makira, which many Sikaiana attended.
Peia A Sikaiana woman who according to legend was driven crazy and eventually buried alive at sea.
Pedro the name given to Luka by de Quiros after they met on
Taumako in 1606.
Pelau the smaller village on Ontong Java.
Pileni a Polynesian outlier with historical and cultural relationships to Sikaiana.
Blea the Sikaiana pronunciation of a captain who took Taupule
Red Beach the landing site for the First Marine Division when
they attacked Guadalcanal in 1942. Now inhabited by a settlement of Sikaiana families. Also known as Tenaru.
Rennell a Polynesian outlier in the Solomon Ilands with cultural similarities to Sikaiana.
Saakava one of the commoner clans on Sikaiana.
Saalupe one of the claimants to being a chiefly clan on Sikaiana.
Saapei one of the commoner clans on Sikaiana.
Saatelua the name for two of the commoner clans on Sikaiana.
Saatui one of the chiefly clans on Sikaiana.
Santa Cruz an island group in the Solomon Islands, located in
Semalu one of the legendary long-distance voyagers who lived
several hundred years ago.
Sokelau a territory on Sikaiana associated with the Saatui clan.
Svensen, Oscar a trader who worked on Sikaiana about 1900.
Taha a location on Sikaiana where Hale meets with the reef. This is where three American fliers came ashore in August 1942.
(Actually pronounced Ttaha,)
Takuu a Polynesian outlier with cultural and historical relationships with Sikaiana.
Talappa a territory on Sikaiana located on the Tua side of Hale and associated with the Saalupe clan.
Tapuaki a spirit whose locale was the site of the Sikaiana school until it was destroyed by the cyclone in 1986.
Tasiu the Mota name for the Melanesian Brothers. People from the group converted Sikaiana to Christianity.
Taumako a Polynesian outlier with historical relationships with
Taupule a woman from Tuvalu (Ellice Islands) who arrived on
Sikaiana in the late 19th century.
TeHaolei the islet on Sikaiana located at the northwest corner of the atoll.
Tehui Atahu one of the legendary founders of Sikaiana.
Tehui Luaniua one of the legendary founders of Sikaiana.
Tenaru a river near where the First Division of American Marines landed on Guadalcanal in 1942; the name of the locality of
the nearby Sikaiana settlement also known as Red Beach.
TePalena a shallow area along the north part of the reef of
Sikaiana; by legend a former islet where Vaeoma and his band
Tikopia a Polynesian outlier in the Solomon Islands with cultural similarities with Sikaiana.
Tomaniva by legend, the man whose ancestral spirit drove Peia insane.
Tona the marauders under Vaeoma who, according to legend,
invaded Sikaiana several hundred years ago
Tua literally `the back’; the eastern shore of Hale.
Tulagi the capital of the British Solomon Ilsands Protectorate before World War II.
Tuvalu the moder name for the Ellice Islands.
Vaeoma the leader of the band from Tona who attacked Sikaiana
several generations ago.
Vaka Vusu one of the Sikaiana clans who assert their rights as a chiefly clan (pronounced vakaavusu).
Vania a small outcropping on the reef of Sikaiana; now, the name for the Sikaiana sports association in Honiara.
Woodford, Charles M. the first resident commissioner of the
Solomon Islands; he visited Sikaiana in the early 1900’s
Yandina the location of the Lever Brothers Plantation in the
Russell Islands. Some Sikaiana people live and work there.
aho day, time
aitu mate in traditional belief, a dead ancestral spirit who
possessed a descendant
aitu spirit, god, the founder heroes of Sikaiana
Aitu Tapu Holy Spirit
alapou state of women during first pregnancy; in traditional
Sikaiana, she should not have intercourse with her husband.
aliki chief, ritual leader
aloha compassion, love, sympathy, pity
anaana a person’s spiritual essence, usually associated with a person’s appearance to others shortly after death.
haakai eat excessively
hahine woman, female
haipohoulu smart, intelligent, especially in schoolwork
hai do, deeds, actions; have, possess
hailaoi kind, generous, good, admirable
haiumu a traditional game, often played between teams of boys
and girls which is like kick the can and hide and seek
haka- prefix meaning “to make”; causative prefix
hakaako joke, tease, make fun of
hakahahine for women to show off, flirt, attract men’s attention to themselves oneself
hakahiahia happiness. joy, rejoicing
hakalilolilo cover, hidden
hakamalooloo rest, vacation, holiday
hakanapa make ashamed; praise
hakanapanapa shyness and embarrassment between young men and
women, especially in courtship
hakaoloolo cause others to argue
hakappili make stick; dance man to woman, body to body as
in Western styles
hakasao make safe; take canoes across the reef
hakasaosao act as a go-between in courtship
hakataa chase fish into a net
hakatanata for men to show off, flirt, attract women’s
attention to oneself
hakataataa initiate courtship
hakataaute decorate; mulch taro gardens
hakatala make tame, ingratiate; in courtship, win over
someone of the opposite sex
hakaauna take aim; ingratiate oneself to another
hakkii the throat; bear, endure, suffer
hakkinokino bad, disgusting, evil
hale aitu the central spirit house in traditional times
hale akina clan, each of which is named
hale henua ritual houses associated with clans in traditional times
hano go, travel; a fashion of behaving, personality trait(s)
hatu manava deepest feelings
hau flower garland
he(e) negative particle: no, not
hellika without shame, insolent, incorrigible
henua island, land, country
heto aliki chiefly clans
hiihai sexual desire, lust, love
hiihai pio false love
hina secret lover in adultery in traditional times
hiti shoot (a gun)
Huata a harvest ceremony in traditional times
hula dance in Western style, woman and man facing one another
huli to turn
hulihulisala metaphor, figure of speech, idiom, speech with a hidden meaning, a parable
hunaona in-laws of different generations
ihi a tree species, bears a chestnut-like food which is eaten
inoa mother’s brother and sister’s children
kaaina territory, estate, neighborhood
kai eat, bite, etc.
kaihulihuli a card game
kaiailaoi gift given with the object of receiving something in return
kaimeo a feeling of unfairness that someone else has received a benefit
kainono beg, to improperly ask for resources
kaimalie for children to be kind, generous, to share
kaipulau greedy, stingy, refuse to share, to be mean
kaisui give the exact equivalent in exchanges
Kaitae Hakatele a ritual prayer performed in traditional times when the central ritual house was being refurbished
kai poloaki goodbye party
kai taa the lands clearance which some people claim formed the basis for each lineage’s rights to land
kai taka land which is transferred by a lineage to a woman at her marriage
Kai Tapu Holy Communion
kake te niu, “climb coconut trees”; an idiom for sexual potency
kalemata eye, face; one’s true love
kaleve, coconut sap, especially fermented toddy
kammanu the government, administrative authority from outside the atoll both during the Protectorate period and at present
kaniva rainbow; a beautiful person
kano hale land-holding lineage, descent line, extended family, nuclear family, household
kapulaka taro species
kastam or kastom customary practices, traditional culture and practices
kave opposite-sex sibling and cousin; brother and sister
kkave give, send, convey
keli swamp land
kkolu bend a sturdy object; try to force one’s will on others
koo stick for husking coconuts
kupena fish net; to fish with a net
modern Japanese fishing technique
laakau branch, tree, genealogy
laoi good, fine, generous
lapu black magic, harmful spells
lau leaf, branch
lautama age group, generation, groups of people who mature
lautona enduring feelings
lesia lied to, deceived
likalika timid, untamed
likiliki small, little
liu deceive, mislead
lliko drive out, expel
lokolo unsophisticated, inept at Western practices, local
lupe a bird species, Ducila pacific; a lover
maa in-laws of the same generation
maalama lit up; lucky
maanatu remember; an informal presentation or gift
maapu habitual characteristic
maatau fish with a line
maatua elderly, old, an elder, a lineage leader, parents
makemakeaa harm others for malicious reasons
mako song, usually with movements
malama moon, month
manaui the single hull canoe used for transportation at present
manava the belly, stomach; a kinship relationship, often through a woman; the source and center of thinking and emotions
manava haeko bad or angry temperament
manava hailaoi kind, generous, considerate person
manava hatu unembarrassed, strong willed
manava mmau strong willed
manava pupu confused
Manea traditional ceremony to refurbish the central spirit house
manu a bird, a land animal; a spiritual essence which is lost
from a sudden shock such as falling from a tree
manu kava urinary smell
manu kulii smell like a dog
manu paipu smell like tobacco
manu peka smell like a flying fox, pungent body odor
manumanu tama smell of human flesh and blood, from fairy tales
mata aliki the chiefly clans
mate dead, die; in courtship, to fall in love
matemate pretend, mislead
matua mature, ripe; an adult
mea do, make; a thing, it
memepuamu cause harm, vandalize, destroy
misoni the mission, any organized religion, a church, Christianity
mmao far away
moko ppili gecko, lizard
napa shame, embarrassment, inhibition, shyness
natu a tree species, bears a soft mango-like fruit which is eaten
nnoto deep, both of ocean and metaphorical meaning
oku possessive pronoun, my
ola alive; life, excitement
pale support, lean against; relatives who support a person
peka flying fox
pinipini a tree species used for making canoes
pio false, exaggerated, bullshit
pohoulu makkatau to be hard headed, stupid
poulitau very dark
ppula ona kalemata look with sexual interest or desire
puina traditional song festival, performed occasionally at
pule ritual specialists in traditional society who oversaw the atoll especially in respect to harvesting prohibitions
puni blocked, as a drain pipe; the condition of a descent line without offspring
saa appear; a prefix for most of the haleakina (`clans’)
saa- prefix meaning to overindulge;
saa-kaleve drink too much fermented toddy
saa-mmiti smoke excessively
saa-uu for small children to drink too much breast milk
sahe catch a bird, fish; in courtship to catch a spouse
sahio smell of perfume from a passing woman
sakamani small human-like creatures said to inhabit Muli Akau
sakilikili talk dirty, swear
sala sin, error, mistake, differently
sapai ulu a ritual female assistant to the chief in traditional times
soa friend, companion, lover
sseni dusk, early dawn when figures are visible but faces can’t be recognized
ssiki midwife in traditional times
tahito base, origin, trunk of tree
takala the ritual successor to the chief in traditional times
taku possessive pronoun; my
tama person, relative, kin, piece in board game
tamaahine young woman, maiden
tamana father, uncle
tamataane young man, bachelor
tama likiliki child, infant
tama maa white person, Caucasian, European
tama maatua old person, elder, lineage leader
tama matua adult, mature person
tama sola homeless person, wanderer
tama tootoohekau a ritual specialist in traditional times
tama uli black person, Melanesian, Solomon Islander
tanata man, male
tani cry, grieve; a funeral lament or dirge
tanta-vale the commoners and their clans
tapaa very little, tiny
tapu forbidden, prohibited; in Christianity, sacred, blessed
taumunimuni a ritual specialist in traditional times
tautuku ritual specialist in traditional times
Tehui title given to the founder heroes of Sikaiana
Teika Llee ritual performed when a fish washed ashore in traditional times
toki the shell tools of Sikaiana ancestors
tona third person possessive pronoun: his, hers, its
tonu foreigners who arrived on Sikaiana and were under authority of the chief; also the fish that washed ashore in the Teika Llee ceremony.
too take, received
toonu feeling of unfairness as when one person works and
ttolo crawl, to night-crawl or “creep”
tuhuna wood plane, a skilled craftsperson; a deceitful person
tupetupe insult another behind their back, especially after
being kind in their presence
tupua spirits who inhabit localities on land and in the reef
tupuna grandparent, foster parent, ancestor, guardian
tuputupu fashion of behaving, character, personality trait(s); tuuhoe song sung by long-distance voyagers
tuumaitu the night without a moon; the darkest night on Sikaiana
uiki week; a prohibition on collecting coconuts for a week
uiki hakamalooloo a week-long school vacation
vahi side; group in a marriage exchange
vai saele walk around without purpose