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.
Tikopia’s isolation and...
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