Santa Ana (also known as Owaraha or Owa Raha), Solomon Islands

The beach landing area for our Zodiacs on the small coral island, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands, where the larger village that we visited is located

The beach landing area for our Zodiacs on the small coral island, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands, where the larger village that we visited is located

 

The second island that we visited in the Solomon Islands was Santa Ana (also known as Owaraha or Owa Raha).  It is a relatively small coral island that was first sighted by Europeans in 1568 in the middle of the archipelago.  There are two villages on the island whose inhabitants share the same culture with people in Owariki and claim descent from the refugees of Teonimanu, which was washed away.  Our visit included an opportunity to meet with the locals and shop at their open air market, watch a series of traditional ceremonial dances [see our upcoming blog post], and walk for several hours across (and back) the island — to the second village — to see the traditional “spirit houses” [see our upcoming blog post].

 

One of the main “streets” in Santa Ana, Solomon Islands, lined with homes built in the traditional Melanesian style, using all natural materials from the island

One of the main “streets” in Santa Ana, Solomon Islands, lined with homes built in the traditional Melanesian style, using all natural materials from the island

 

As we walked around the market area in the village, we were greeted by many boys, girls and adults (particularly the artisans and vendors of local fruits and their families), Santa Ana,

As we walked around the market area in the village, we were greeted by many boys, girls and adults (particularly the artisans and vendors of local fruits and their families), Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

 

One of the men dancers resting before the festivities began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

One of the men dancers resting before the festivities began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

A beautiful headdress on one of the women dancers photographed before the performance, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

A beautiful headdress on one of the women dancers photographed before the performance, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

 

Three of the musicians posing with one of the local “tube” drums (the paddles – two are in the photograph -- are played against the tops of the varied-length tubes), Santa Ana, Sol

Three of the musicians posing with one of the local “tube” drums (the paddles – two are in the photograph — are played against the tops of the varied-length tubes), Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

 

Another of the men dancers before the festivities began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

Another of the men dancers before the festivities began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

The lead “warrior” dancer photographed before the dancing began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

The lead “warrior” dancer photographed before the dancing began [see our upcoming blog post], Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

Many of the local children got a special treat when we brought our cooler over with ice and water – “popsicle” flavored sticks, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

Many of the local children got a special treat when we brought our cooler over with ice and water – “popsicle”-style flavored ice sticks, Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

 

Note the blond hair on some of the boys which is common in this area (and genetically separate from European and American blondes_ genes-DNA), Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

Note the blond hair on some of the boys which is common in this area (and genetically separate from European and American blondes’ genes/DNA), Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

 

Friendship, caring, sharing and welcoming are some of the desriptors for the wonderful islanders we met on Santa Ana, Solomon Islands; on our hike across the island, after the dances, mo

Friendship, caring, sharing and welcoming are some of the descriptors for the wonderful islanders we met on Santa Ana, Solomon Islands; on our hike across the island, after the dances, most of us befriended local children who walked with us and held our hands and sang songs (they all learn English in school) with us

 

6 thoughts on “Santa Ana (also known as Owaraha or Owa Raha), Solomon Islands

    • These are certainly out of the way places and real “explorer” opportunities to see native tribes in their communities — people who only a few times a year (at most) see Westerners. Very exciting and amazing that both the Solomon Is. and Vanuatu teach school in English! So all the kids and most young adults speak pretty good English.

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  1. Rich,

    I wonder whether there are still Peace Corps Volunteers working/living in the Solomon Islands, as there were 45 years ago. How would you feel about spending a couple of years there?

    Paul

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    • I don’t know if there are still Peace Corps Volunteers in Melanesia. We found it interesting that many of the school teachers in villages of local tribes people on both Vanuatu and Solomon Islands had grown up in that village, gone on to college in one of the country’s colleges, and then (sometimes after first interning/teaching elsewhere) returned to their native village to resume village life and teach school. Many other young people go to college and then stay on in the big city of the country, swapping village life for the city life they have gotten used to; this is not too different from many other cultures.

      Given how gentle, friendly, caring, sharing and social the tribes people were that we met, and the sustainable food production and housing (using, in most cases, only natural materials from their own island), I think that living among them could be a wonderful experience. With virtually no “western” material objects (with the exception used clothing, some “personal” solar panels — now being adopted widely on some islands — and a few cell phones and tablet computers, all for personal use), life there at first would be a culture shock, but the lack of stress, fighting, warfare, etc. would be refreshing and totally welcome!

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  2. You have certainly had a great adventure around Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Torres Strait areas. Terrific pictures Richard and enjoyed seeing them.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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