Publication to boost Solomon Islands’ handcraft industry


A long out of print book titled ‘Handcrafts of the Solomon Islands’ has been republished with help from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) this week.<!--more-->

Late writer-photographer Robert Austin compiled and first published the book, widely considered a landmark publication, way back in 1986.

The new edition is expected to help boost market demand for the country’s unique cultural artifacts. Handcrafted artifacts made from wood and other natural materials represent a vibrant part of the living culture of Solomon Islands.

For visitors to the country, wooden carvings – particularly of the ubiquitous Nguzunguzu – are a readily identifiable symbol of the Solomons experience. Sale of the wooden carvings has the potential to provide considerable financial benefits to small rural communities.

The republishing of the book comes at a time when the country readies itself to host the eleventh Pacific Arts Festival in Honiara in July 2012. SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers said, “Handcrafts of the Solomon Islands will raise the profile of Solomon Islands carvings and highlight the symbolism of wooden carvings as part of the 'Solomons experience’ for visitors.

“We hope Handcrafts of the Solomon Islands achieves two things: provides a timely record of Solomon Islands’ unique cultural offerings for current and future generations of Islanders and, at the same time, creates a demand for them in the tourism and export markets.”

The book has been published through the European Union-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade [FACT] project, which is implemented by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.