Most of the entries in these files concern the traditional ritual and ceremonial life of Sikaiana that existed before the conversion to Christianity in the 1930s. Most of this information was taken from the oldest people on Sikaiana. They were in their seventies and eighties when interviewed in the 1980s and would have some direct experience with these rituals. The primary interviews were done with Fane Telena and Rebecca Esai, both in their eighties. I have included one interview done with some elders in the 1960s under the supervision of Dr. Pita Sharples during his research on Sikaiana.
There was a rapid conversion to Christianity in the 1930s. Almost the entire population of the island converted in a few years. During my stays in the 1980s, there were church services twice a day and almost the entire island attended Sunday Communion. Sikaiana people were committed Christians. My own research on Sikaiana focused mostly on the contemporaneous society of the 1980s, but I did collect some material about the traditional ritual, which my consultants seemed happy to provide for me.
Many told me that the traditional rituals were pio (‘false’) and from a time when Sikaiana people were noho pouli (‘living in darkness’). Occasionally, the recordings will include these statements. On the other hand, some of the elderly people discussing their recollections will also describe their traditional ritual as haimalona (‘powerful’).
I have a few of these recordings transcribed and will try to get some more. The transcriptions into the Sikaiana language were done by Priscilla Taulupo and I am grateful for her effort. I also will work on getting some translations into English. People should read the notes on transcriptions which are attached as file #1. These are also found in the file for “Stories.”
The rituals described in these tapes include the Manea (a ceremony to replace the materials in the central ritual house (Hale Aitu), the Teika Llee ( a ceremony performed when a large sea animal washed up on the reef to placate the ‘Chief” of the oceans (Aliki Moana), Huata (harvest ceremonies), ritual offices including the Aliki (Chief) and his assistants, and Kunaika (a tattooing ceremony which also seemed to involve a ritual friendship), among others. There is also some discussions of the aitu mate, spirits of the deceased who have returned, often to cause harm as retribution for wrongs to themselves while alive or to their descendants. Many ritual activities, especially in the Hale Aitu, seemed concerned with island-wide welfare, health and prosperity. The descriptions of the aitu mate seemed more about revenge and hostility.
In many cases, I have included a brief synopsis of the events discussed and their approximate time location on the tape.
I also have often included two versions of the recordings. A Mp3 file for easy downloading and an attached Wav file for archival purposes.
A few recordings may pertain to land tenure. Land tenure was controversial during my time and none of these recordings should be considered to be the only view or true view in land disputes.
Please show proper respect for the Sikaiana people and their ancestors in listening to these files. Any commercial use of these files should be approved by the Sikaiana people and they should be included in any benefits.
01 Manea and other Rituals, Rebecca Sei, Kaiti Sikaiana, Priscilla Taulupo, and Bill Donner
02 manea and other traditions, Tupou Sikaiana, John Tepala, Priscilla Taulupo, and Pita Sharples Dr.
Aitu Mate, ancestral spirits, Samson Tiki and Reuben Tenai
Hale Aitu and other rituals, Rebecca Sei
Hale Aitu, Manea and other rituals, Fane Telena and Billl Donner Dr
Hale Aitu, Manea, Teika LLee, Fane Telena, Manutai Sikaiana, and Bill Donner
Huata and other rituals, Fane Telena, Mantai Sikaiana, and Dominik Teavaki
Ritual Roles, Fane Telena and Tekohu Sikaiaan
Teika Llee Aliki Noa of Alfred Vesi, Alfred Vesi
Teika LLee and other rituals, Fane Telena
Traditions, Reuben Tenai and Fane Telena
Traditions 2, Fane Telena and Tekohu Sikaiana
Various Ritual, Silas Tilikohu