Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

The Central Market in Gizo, on Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, is adjacent to the main pier

The Central Market in Gizo, on Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, is adjacent to the main pier

 

The islands of the New Georgia group in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands are rugged and lushly forested islets scattered in an intricate maze of winding waterways and turquoise lagoons.  Ghizo Island is no exception.  The small (population around 6,000) provincial town of Gizo is the second largest in the country and the capital of the Western Province.

 

Coconuts, yams, bananas, betel nuts, oil, etc. are popular products for sale in the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

Coconuts, yams, bananas, betel nuts, oil, etc. are popular products for sale in the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

“This area of Solomon Islands has had a history of headhunting.  According to local stories the Gizo tribe were notorious in this activity.  As a consequence the surrounding local tribes took the unusual step of joining together to obliterate the Gizo tribe.  The stories further relate that the only survivors were a Gizo woman and her son.  This event led to Ghizo island being declared as a property of the state, rather than the usual customary ownership prevalent in much of the rest of the Solomons.  As a secondary consequence becoming an administrative and business centre because of the relative ease with which registered land titles could be obtained.” — Wikipedia

 

Relaxing adjacent to the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

Relaxing adjacent to the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

We had the opportunity to walk around town and did some shopping at both the open air central market and, strangely enough, at the Gizo dive shop (Dive Gizo) — which deserves its reputation for offering the best arts and crafts (particularly wood carvings) that have been collected from all over the northern Solomon Islands, including the outstanding sculptures by the artisans living on the islands in Marovo Lagoon [see our previous post, “Sabulo Island, Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands”].

 

Very popular throughout the region, betel nuts are chewed with a touch of lime wrapped in a betel pepper leaf, Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

Very popular throughout the region, betel nuts are chewed with a touch of lime wrapped in a betel pepper leaf, Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

Adjacent to the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, is this small dry goods store

Adjacent to the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, is this small dry goods store

 

Separate groups of men and ladies were playing cards on the side of the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

Separate groups of men and ladies were playing cards on the side of the Central Market, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

Walking into Dive Gizo on Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, visitors who aren_t aware that this is the island_s premier arts and crafts store are surprised

Walking into Dive Gizo on Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands, visitors who aren’t aware that this is the island’s premier arts and crafts store are surprised

 

The selection of wood carved masks and sea life sculptures is quite broad, Dive Gizo, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

The selection of wood carved masks and sea life sculptures is quite broad, Dive Gizo, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

A stylized shark, carved by the islanders, for sale at Dive Gizo, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

A stylized shark, carved by the islanders, for sale at Dive Gizo, Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

 

2 thoughts on “Gizo, Ghizo Island, Solomon Islands

  1. Many years ago (1989 or 1990), we took scuba diving training in Honiara, Soloman Islands, and obtained our scuba license. The first jaunt we made to actually scuba away from the main town was Ghizo, where our friend Neville, who was operating a general aviation flying service in Honiara, flew us to. We remember very well the day-long trip we were taken to by someone from the Gizo Dive Shop — we went several places, with perhaps the most memorable being the island which John F. Kennedy reached and waited for a rescue, befriended by a number of natives nearby. So we liked seeing that Dive shop in your post! At that time, the shop was only for divers…

    While in the Solomons, we also bought quite liberally (considering remaining space in our suitcases) of the wonderful wood carvings inlaid with mother-of-pearl from these wood artisans — we didn’t get any of the heads you photographed, but did buy many other pieces representing various fish, shark, dolphins, angelfish, and a 2-foot high sea horse. The quality was just as you describe!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Pat, The Sea Ranch, CA

    Liked by 1 person

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