1st Edition

Tradition and Christianity The Colonial Transformation of a Solomon Islands Society

By Ben Burt Copyright 1994

    Burt studies the effects of the 19th century labour trade, colonial subjugation and the subsequent Christian conversion. He examines the anti-colonial Maasina Rule movement of the 1940s and finally illustrates the subsequent efforts of Kwara'ae leaders to regain their self-determination and to reaffirm the values of "tradition" under Christianity.
    The Kwara'ae example of colonialism and Christianity is part of the broader experience of Melanesia and of other peoples in the Third World who once lived a tribal life. The detailed local focus, based on a year of fieldwork, provides valuable evidence essential to a wider comparative analysis of colonial history and the continuing development of indigenous Christianity from an anthropological and a historical perspective. Tradition and Christianity explores how and why a Pacific Islands people, fiercely attached to the tradition of their ancestors, have transformed their society by changing their religion.

    Land and people, relationships and rules; people and ghosts, religion and politics; going overseas (1870s to 1890s); God and government arrive (1900s to 1910s); the Christian transformation (1920s to 1930s); Masing Rul - the Maasina Rule Movement (1940s); towards "independence" (1950s to 1980s); the Christian social order; Kwara'ae Christianity and the Christian tradition; maps of Solomon Islands and Malaita and Kwara'ae and Kwai District.


    Ben Burt