Research in the Solomon Islands

    Abstract

    A REPORT on the work of the Templeton-Crocker Expedition to the Solomon Islands, 1933, has recently been sent to NATTJBE by the Director of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu. The expedition left San Francisco on March 2, 1933, in Mr. Templeton-Crocker's auxiliary schooner Vaca and returned on September 15 after conducting a preliminary ethnographical and medical survey of a number of islands in the Solomon group. The principal objective was the Rennell and Bellona islands, but before arriving there the expedition collected data bearing on tuberculosis and tropical diseases, as well as ethnographical material, at Sikiana, Tulalagi, Guadalcanar and Malaita. Advantage was taken of conditions on Rennell and Bellona, where bird and insect life are undisturbed and the inhabitants virtually unaffected by European contacts, to make extensive collections of birds, plants and insects and to record particulars relating to native life and customs, which appear to have suffered little change since the Polynesian ancestors of the inhabitants first arrived there twenty generations ago. It was also possible to arrange for an intensive study of the disease and general health of the population of one district. Blood samples for filaria tests and blood groups were obtained. On Bellona the party was fortunate enough to obtain cinematograph record of the annual first-fruits ceremony. A medical and health survey was also made on the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Anna and Santa Catalina. As a result of the expedition's work, 3,200 artefacts have been added to the collections of the museum in Honolulu, as well as a large number of entomological and botanical specimens. Other collections are to be distributed among scientific institutions in America and Europe, while the material relating to canoes will be submitted to Dr. A. C. Haddon in Cambridge.

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