Blackwood, Beatrice. Both sides of Buka Passage: an ethnographic study of social, sexual, and economic questions in the north-western Solomon Islands

Table of Contents

Publication Information

I: The Country And The People


Native Reaction To Climate

Ideas Regarding Natural Phenomena

Story Of The Man In The Moon.

Flora And Fauna

Personal Appearance Of The Natives

Language 1

The Village

Analysis Of Population Of Kurtatchi Village In 1930 1

The Daily Round

A Week From The Record Of Sobak, An Elderly Man

A Week From The Record Of Matēv; An Elderly Woman

A Week From The Record Of Tahol, Young Woman With A Suckling Infant

Reckoning Of Time

Ii: The Social Background

The Family And The Lineage

The Clan

Clans Of Buka

Clans Of North Bougainville

Origin Of Clans And Totems

Membership Of Clans

The Lineage Group

Tsunaun And Commoners

Relationship System

List Of Relationship Terms And Their Most Important Applications

Notes On The Relationship Terms

1. Tfina-: Bai'i.

2. Tama-: Bai'i.

3. Tsoa-: Pasu-.

4. Kiar (term Used Reciprocally).

5. Wevnē - (term Used Reciprocally).

6. Wagun (term Used Reciprocally).

7. Tauwē - (term Used Reciprocally).

8. Pi'an (term Used Reciprocally).

9. Wat∫īt∫io (term Used Reciprocally).

10. Tsubu-: Tsubna'in.

11. Uētē: Mon Or Nuntsē-: Muta-.

12. Waris (term Used Reciprocally).

13. Ruanbē - (term Used Reciprocally).

14. Suwan (term Used Reciprocally).

15. Taō (co-wife).

Relationship System And Regulation Of Marriage



Iii: Marriage And Sex Relations

Sequence Of Events Leading Up To Marriage

The Marriage Ceremony

Summary Of Events Leading Up To Marriage

Marriage Payments

Relations Between The Sexes Prior To Marriage

Beginning Of Married Life

Later Married Life

Choice Of A Mate

Marriage Of Brother's Widow


Some Typical Marital Histories

Marital History Of Pinari

Marital History Of Sobak

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Extra-marital Relations

Women's Part In Intrigues

Courtship And Love-magic

Sexual Intercourse



Connexion With Animals

Connexion With Plants

Clothing And Shame

Iv: Pregnancy And Child-birth

Knowledge Of Paternity


Attitude To Sterility

Medicines Facilitating Conception


Ceremony For Pregnant Woman

Diary Of A Pregnant Woman

Birth Of Manēv's Child

A Native Woman's Description Of A Birth

Complications Of Child-birth

Preparations For Delivery

Restrictions On Sexual Intercourse

Customs Concerning Food


Treatment Of New-born Child



V: Childhood

Periods Of Child's Growth

Treatment Of Babies

Learning To Talk.

Learning To Walk.

Methods Of Carrying Babies.

Children's Diet


Children's Play



Attitude Towards Animals

Group Games

Sexual Play And Sex Knowledge Of Children

Medicine And Magic Pertaining To Children

Ceremonies Connected With The Infancy Of A Child Tsunaun

1. At Birth.

2. At First Washing.

3. In The Early Days.

4. For First Coming Outside Hut.

5. For First Touching The Ground.

6. On Returning From The First Journey.

7. For Sitting On His Mother's Pack.

Vi: Adolescent Boys

Origin Of The Upi

Ceremonies Connected With The Upi

Preparations For The Wapi Ceremony

Rules For The Novices.

Rules Concerning Food.

The Wapi Ceremony

A Second Wapi Ceremony

The Urar Figures

The Bull-roarer

Ceremonies Subsidiary To The Wapi

Regulations And Prohibitions For Wearers Of The Upi During The Period Between The Wapi And The Watawut∫ Ceremonies

I. Concerning Women.

Ii. Regulations Concerning Food.

Iii. Regulations Concerning Personal Appearance.

Iv. Other Regulations.

Preparations For The Watawut∫

Making The Upi For The Watawut∫


The Watawut∫ Ceremony

The Wasipsip Ceremony

Tabulation Of Procedure Connected With The Upi

Discussion Of Customs Connected With The Wearing Of The Upi , And Their Effect On The Life Of The Village

Vii: Adolescent Girls

Girl's Life During Adolescence

Account Of Girl's First Menstruation Ceremony As Given By Kurtatchi Women

First Menstruation Ceremony As Performed For Nawi

Details Of Mixture Used In Nawi's First Menstruation Ceremony

Final Part Of Ceremony For Muben

Change Of Name After Menstruation Ceremony


Women's Views On Menstruation

Viii: Diet, Cooking, And Meals

List Of Foodstuffs

1. Vegetables, Nuts, And Fruit

2. Flesh Food

3. Sea Food

Notes On The List Of Foodstuffs

1. Vegetables, Nuts, And Fruit

Ceremony For First Almonds.

2. Flesh Food

3. Sea Food

Summary Of Methods Of Cooking



Meals And Manners


Chewing The Betel-mixture

Stories Of The Origin Of Various Foodstuffs

Origin Of All The Fruit

Origin Of Coco-nuts

Origin Of Bananas

Origin Of Areca-nut

Discovery Of Betel-pepper

Ix: The Food Quest


Ceremony For Planting New Taro Garden ( June 9 And 10, 1930 )

The Food Quest



Vegetables, Other Than Taro


Rain-making As Performed By Riamē.

Rain-making As Performed By Sobak.



Magic For Making Dogs Hunt Well.

Opossum Hunting : [the Cuscus Opossum, Or Phalanger ( Pl. 41 B ).]

Kuriworots (a Creeper With A Thick Juicy Stem)

Wawurūrū (a Tree In Which Opossum Like To Live)



Flying Foxes, &c.


Bonito Fishing

Bonito Hook And Rod.

Method Of Catching Bonito.

Magical Procedure Connected With Bonito Fishing.

To Bring Bonito To Your Fishing Grounds.

Other Forms Of Bonito Magic.

Bai'ia (a Creeper, Growing In The Bush). (petats Dialect.)

Bwiar ( Fleurya Interrupta ).

Konkon (a Creeper).

Wagoguir (a Large Tree Which Grows On The Shore).

Maniŋiŋ (a Sweet-scented Grass Of The Cymbopogon Species Used In India For Making Citronella Oil).

Other Fishing Methods

Methods Used By Men Only

Methods Used By Women Only

Methods Used By Both Sexes

Methods Used By Men Only

A. Open Sea And Lagoon Fishing.

1. Net On Frame.


Gotoin (a Small Tree).

Pako (a Creeper).

2. Troll Line.

Kat∫ian (tree Resembling An Areca-palm).

3. Rod And Line.


Iwi (a Mixture).

Iwiŋ (a Hardwood Tree).

Riro ( Morinda Citrifolia ).

4. Fishing Kite.

Karawinoa (a Shrub, Probably Belonging To The Rubiaceae ).

B. Reef Fishing.

5. Bow And Arrow.

6. Spear.

7. Line And Hook.

8. Hand Plunging-trap.

9. Thorn-lined Trap.

10. Stunning And Poisoning.

11. Drives.

Methods Used By Women Only

12. Barricade Of Leaves.

13. Small Net.

Paparau (a Large Tree).

14. Basket.

Marawat (a Large Tree).

15. Groping Under Stones.

16. Gathering Shell-fish.

Methods Used By Both Sexes

C. Freshwater Fishing.

17. Hand-net.

18. Dam.

X: Useful Arts

Men's Work

Means Of Navigation

The Raft.

The Dug-out Canoe ( Dℨini , P., T∫iniv , K.).

Origin Of The Dug-out Canoe

The Plank Canoe.

Dimensions Of Mon With Three Poan

A Voyage To Green Island ( Nissan )


Dimensions Of Huts In Kurtatchi Village

Terms Used In Connexion With Huts

( Kurtatchi Dialect )

The Men's House.


Terms Used In Connexion With Fire-making

Origin Of Fire.

Women's Work




Shape And Size.

Barter Of Pots.

Terms Used In Pottery-making

( Malasang Dialect )

Materials And Tools.

Women's Hoods

Sleeping Mats


Plaiting, Done By Both Sexes.

Note On Stone Implements

Xi: Aesthetic Arts

Musical Instruments

Slit-gong ( Tui (p.), Garamuts (k.)).

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Mábu (also Called Aura ).

Pan-pipes ( Ka'ur Or Wa'ur And Piu ).

Conch-shell ( Tsuwiŋ ).

The Musical Bow ( Koŋkoŋo ).

The Jews’ Harp ( Pokpoko ).

Story Of Origin Of Pokpoko


Use Of Colour

Discrimination Of Colours.

Personal Adornment



Deformation Of The Person.


Names Of Patterns Cut On Skin

Characteristic Decoration

Woven Designs.

Patterns On Pottery.

Designs Of Shafts Of Spears And Arrows.


Figure Carving

Xii: Some Economic Matters


(i) Women's Hoods For Pots.

(ii) Taro And Pots For Lime.

(iii) Pots For Taro Stalks To Plant.

(iv) Taro For Kōbū.

(v) Bread-fruit For Sweet Potatoes.

(vi) Pots For Paint.

(vii) Taro For Pots.

(viii) Buying Pots At Malasang.

Ceremonial Currency

Some Occasions For The Use Of Imun


Recompense For Services Rendered


Reciprocal Exchanges




Other Possessions.

Records Of Possessions.

Attitude To Theft

Intentional Destruction Of Property


Xiii: Magic And Medicine

Black Magic

Maneroa (a Plant, Unidentified).

War Magic

To Make A War Canoe Go Fast. (petats.)


Xiv: Death And The Urar

The Origin Of Death

Native Views As To Causes Of Death


Information Concerning Death Obtained At Petats, W. Buka

Funerary Rites

A Funeral At Petals

Regulations For The Relatives

Fate Of The Soul

Disposal Of The Dead Man's Possessions

Notes On Death From The Village Of Lemanmanu, Lontis Coast, W. Buka

Notes On Death From The Village Of Hanahan, E. Buka

Information Obtained At The Village Of Kurtatchi, N. Bougainville

Funerary Rites


Further Details Concerning Funerary Rites


The Place Of The Urar

Information Obtained On The Island Of Tiop, Ne. Bougainville

Characteristics And Powers Of The Urar

A Child Visits The Urar 2

A Woman Is Turned Into An Urar


Relations Between The Urar And The Living

Hysterical Dissociation


Xv: Other Beliefs: Chiefly Concerning Ghosts And Spirits

Association Of Urar With Animals

Association Of Urar With Stones

Stone Pillars

Notes On The Stone Pillar At Yamē

Stone Pillar At Iltopan

Stone Pillar At Tohatchi

Stone Pillar At Lonahan

Stone Pillar On North Bougainville Coast

Stone Pillars (?) Reported But Not Visited

Stone Monument At Tiop


Bush Goblins.


Xvi: Dreams

Scope Of The Collection

Method Of Collecting And Recording

Frequency Of Dreaming

Theories Of The Origin And Meaning Of Dreams

‘reciprocal’ Dreams

To Make A Woman Desire You

Rarakot (a Grass With Numbers Of Small Sticky Seeds).

To Make A Woman Visit You

Wadodowu (a Small Plant).

Type Dreams

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Classification Of Incidents In The Dreams According To Their ‘manifest Content’

Classification Of Incidents According To ‘manifest Content’

( A ) Death And Urar.

(b) Incidents Of Everyday Life.

(c) Dreams Having A Definite Sexual Element.

The ‘œdipus Complex’

(1) Son Dreams Of His Mother.

(2) Daughter Dreams Of Her Father. No. 64.

(3) Sister Dreams Of Her Brother.

(d) Food And Eating.

(e) Fighting, Beating, Or Being Beaten.

(f) Incidents Involving Animals Other Than As Food.

(g) Going A Journey.

(h) Falling From A Height.

(i) Climbing Or Going Uphill.

(j) Sleep.

(k) Trying To Move And Being Fixed To The Spot.

(l) Physical Disabilities.

(m) Urination And Defaecation.

(n) Childbirth And Suckling.

(o) Going Into Water To Wash.

(p) Flying.

(q) Ceremonies And Dances.

Influence Of White Contact On Native Dreams

Dreams Designated Good Or Bad

A. Good Dreams.

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

B. Bad Dreams.

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Theoretical Discussion

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Untitled Section: ...

Affect And Symbolism

‘latent Content’

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Both sides of Buka Passage: an ethnographic study of social, sexual, and economic questions in the north-western Solomon Islands

Published By: Original publisher Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1935. XXIV, 624 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Beatrice Blackwood

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2015. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Tinputz (ON26)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Identification (101); (22); Food preparation (252); Diet (262); (53); Status, role, and prestige (554); Classes (565); (58); Kinship terminology (601); Clans (614); Mythology (773); Spirits and gods (776); Revelation and divination (787); (84); (88);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is a comprehensive ethnographic study of the Kurtatchi community on the northeastern coast of Bougainville, and of the peoples of the Buka Passage in general. Because the original research design focused on issues of sex, there is notable detail regarding marriage and sex, pregnancy and childbirth, childhood and adolescent activities, and puberty rites. There are also descriptions of the physical environment, village and kinship organization, economic pursuits, arts and crafts, food, medicine, religious beliefs and practices. There is even a collection of dreams, with classification and discussion. Appendices include lists of kinship terms, and of useful plants.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. on26-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographic references (p.600-602) The author's information on 'clan' organization has been marked for category 614, 'sibs.'

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1929-1930

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Robert Lee ; 1958

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1929-1930

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) North Bougainville District, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Ethnology--Solomon Islands//Primitive societies//Endogamy and exogamy//Sex//Kinship//Folklore--Solomon Islands


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation