Urbanization in the Solomon Islands, accompanied by rapid population growth and a cash economy, has been recognized as potential risk factor for people’s well-being. This study, based on research performed in a town and a rural village, aimed to explore the ecological and socioeconomic process of urbanization by analyzing variations in household subsistence and cash-earning strategies. Households were classified into three groups: (1) those in the town with regular cash-earning jobs, (2) those in the town with no regular jobs, and (3) those in the rural village. According to the data, households in the town with no regular jobs earned as little cash as those in the rural village and had crop yields as low as those in the town with regular jobs. This was thought to be caused by land degradation, deteriorated natural resources, and the limited availability of wage labor. Households in town were economically vulnerable and risked poverty and other hardships.
Fakapale is the practice—especially common at fundraising events—of putting banknotes on a dancer’s body during traditional Tongan dances. The present article examines two aspects of fakapale at a fundraising concert: motivations for practicing fakapale and the relationships that are visualized through it, and its relevance to the role of currency in Tongan history and culture. This microanalysis reveals that fakapale is more than an accompaniment to dancing: it actively involves many people, both members and nonmembers of the church, and allows them to visualize their religious devotion, interpersonal relations, and communal support. The monetary aspect of fakapale, in which banknotes have gradually replaced wreaths and pieces of cloth, also mirrors the giving of coins in church.
Perceived as one of the most significant cultural markers of Austronesian movement into the Pacific, Lapita pottery appeared in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea some 3,500 years ago with highly complex decorative motifs and vessel forms. Pacific archaeologists have been using various statistical means to search for patterns from which migration routes and directions may be inferred by comparing frequencies of certain design elements and motifs, as well as motif construction rules, over time and space. How these highly elaborated decorative styles and pottery-making techniques were shared or transformed from one island to another, and how many of these techniques continued to be practiced for many hundreds of years, are intriguing questions whose answers will broaden our understanding of the past. Due to the limitations of previous coding systems and the lack of a fast and reliable communication platform, however, comparison of complex vessel forms and motifs amongst various island groups has been seriously crippled throughout the past few decades.
After six years of design and testing, the beta version of an online database built for enhancing the possibilities of research on Lapita pottery is now being offered to the public. In this paper I will present this newly developed online Lapita pottery database and its applications for future research. Four major functions will enable scholars to perform detailed analysis: (1) a combination of data and GIS system that provides a spatial view of results; (2) a complex motif and vessel form search engine that makes it possible to search for a given sequence of motifs on any specific vessel form; (3) a comprehensive recording scheme that stores numerous attribute details for a given sherd; and (4) a simple online statistical tool for quick assessment of frequency counts.
This study compares the archaeological remains of one Latte Period community in an inland region of southern Guam to broader patterns of Chamorro settlement observed on the coast in the late 1600s and subsequently recorded by archaeologists in the 20th century. Examination of a site named the Lost River Village revealed pronounced differences in housing scale and spatial patterning that appear to have developed in situ over the entire length of the Latte Period. This conclusion was based on selective radiocarbon dating, suggesting that social status distinctions between inland and coastal inhabitants may have been exaggerated by Spanish chroniclers, and that permanent inland occupation was not just a late phenomenon in Chamorro prehistory as earlier proposed.
The local nomenclature and usage of Capsicum on Pohnpei Island, Mokil Atoll, and Pingelap Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia, were surveyed to identify the relationship between people and Capsicum. Pungent Capsicum peppers used in Pohnpei State were C. frutescens in almost all cases, and three types of C. frutescens were found. The local name for Capsicum was “sele” on Pohnpei Island and Pingelap Atoll and “jeli” on Mokil Atoll. These local names seem to be related to “chile” in Spanish, suggesting that some Capsicum peppers were introduced from the Americas to Pohnpei State by the Spanish during the Manila galleon trade. People used C. frutescens in various ways: as a condiment (on fresh or salted fruit and fruit soaked in unboiled water or the water of mature coconuts), as a vegetable (the leaves), and as a medicine (the fruit as an anthelmintic drug, the leaves for curing boils and wounds, and the flowers for promoting childbirth or blood expulsion in pregnant women). With modernization, however, residents of Pohnpei Island have been eating fewer C. frutescens leaves in recent years. Rediscovering and maintaining knowledge of plants already naturalized on each island are important to food security.