Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tikiopia: Welcome!

The routine on Tikopia was similar to Anuta, in that we were required to meet the chief (stoked to meet the chief!) to be granted permission to stay.  We crawl on our hands and knees, keeping our heads down, into the chief's home.  He then lifts our face, pressing forehead to forehead, and nose to nose, breathing deeply.  This is our introduction to Chief Tafua!  He welcomes us, and gives us permission to stay for the time we planned.
Something that we did not hear about in Anuta, Chief Tafua explains to us the relationship between Tikopia (Anuta also) and the Solomon Islands government. Due to the remote nature of these two islands, an agreement has been made where the chiefs of these islands are the ones in charge.  If a situation were to occur where a police force would be necessary (rare, if ever), then it is up to the chief to handle the situation, and it is not the responsibility of the Solomon government.  Because of this agreement, it is also the chief's right to grant permission to visiting sailors to stay.  Normally, when entering a new country via sailboat, one must enter in specified ports to clear immigration and customs.  On Anuta and Tikopia, it is the chiefs that "clear" you in.  It sounded like there can still be some difficulties around this, and if I were to continue on to the Solomon Islands I would not mention that I'd been in Tikopia, but it was nice to get this bit of info, even though I had fully intended not to clear into the Solomon Islands before visiting Anuta and Tikiopia.

Chief Tafua, and some little ones.  He would give them his already chewed up betel nut and these kids would go crazy! 

Tikopia home.  Much bigger than on Anuta.

The kids ran down the beach when we came ashore, and were fighting with each other for who got hold our hands :)
These kids had obviously seen more movies than the Anutans...

Zach and the kids!

Village life !!

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