Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender

2004 Edition
| Editors: Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember


  • Judith Macdonald
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29907-6_92


Tikopia lies at the far eastern extreme of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The Solomon Islands are a chain of islands about 1,000 miles long which stretches from Papua New Guinea in the west to Vanuatu in the east. The majority of the islands are Melanesian but, although the Solomons are outside the Polynesian triangle, there are a few culturally Polynesian islands in the group. Tikopia is one of them.

Tikopia is a small high island, the peak of an old volcano, with the original crater forming a small lake. The island is 3 miles long and 2 miles wide with sandy flat lands to the south and fertile volcanic soil around the mountain ridge. It is nearly 100 sea miles from the next island and 600 miles from the administrative capital, Honiara. Ideally, around 1,200 people live on the island, although more Tikopians are settled elsewhere in the Solomons. This number has fluctuated over the years as the discussion below will note.

Cultural Overview

Tikopia’s isolation and...


Married Woman Solomon Island Unmarried Woman Coconut Cream Girl Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Firth, R. (1936). We, the Tikopia. London: George Allen & Unwin. (See also later editions.)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Firth, R. (1959). Social change in Tikopia. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Firth, R. (1961). History and traditions of Tikopia. Wellington, New Zealand: Polynesian Society.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jolly, M., & MacIntyre, M. (1989). Family and gender in the Pacific. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Macdonald, J. (1991). Women of Tikopia. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Macdonald

There are no affiliations available