Photographer's Note

The scene is the area outside the airport in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. A large gazebo features massive columns carved into Tiki Gods. A group of four Melanesian natives are seen engaged in conversation, oblivious to a member of the paparazzi shooting the photo. Guadalcanal, of course, was the scene of horrific warfare during WWII. I've already posted a few pictures of the children who live in Guadalcanal.

Oceania or the Pacific is massive, the single largest entity on the surface of the planet, which also explains how the Southern Pacific is the engine for weather over so much of the planet.

The inhabitants of Oceania are classified into the Melanesians, Micronesians and the Polynesians, and are ethnically similar to each other although culturally they may be different. They are all inhabitants of an immense number of islands in the Pacific, who apparently migrated to the islands between 3000-1000 BC. (The Aborigines of Australia are ethnically and culturally different, having settled in Australia upwards of 30,000 years ago.) We should be in awe of the much greater distances the Polynesians navigated in their canoes, compared to the paltry few thousand kilometers that European navigators sailed in crossing the Atlantic beginning in the 15th century AD. Navigating by stars and ocean currents, they found those islands. Of course, we'll never know of the attempts that ended in failure.

What is also remarkable is the presence of the ancient Tiki Gods all over Oceania, north-south from Hawaii to New Zealand and east-west from Easter Islands to Papua New Guinea. There were four major Tiki Gods, along with many minor gods. European missionaries converted most of the islanders to Christianity, but there is a presence of the old Tiki Gods. Perhaps, it's good to be safe on all fronts.


KU – Ancient Tiki God of War

LONO – Ancient Tiki God of Fertility and PeaceSome Hawaiians believed that Captain James Cook was Lono returned and indeed this fact may have ultimately contributed to Capt. Cook's death on his Third voyage (1776-1779)).

KANE– Ancient Tiki God of Light and Life
In Hawaiian mythology, Kane Milohai is the father of the Tiki gods Ka-moho-ali'i, Pele (whom he exiled to Hawaii), Kapo, Namaka and Hi'iaka by Haumea. He created the sky, earth and upper heaven and gave Kumu-Honua the garden. He owned a tiny seashell that, when placed on the ocean's waves, turned into a huge sailboat. The user of the boat had merely to state his destination and the boat took him there. In agricultural and planting traditions, Kane was identified with the sun.

KANALOA – Ancient Tiki God of the Sea
Kanaloa is one of the four great gods of Hawaiian mythology, along with Kane, Ku, and Lono. He is the local form of a Polynesian deity generally connected with the sea. Roughly equivalent deities are known as Tangaroa in New Zealand, Tagaloa in Samoa, and Ta'aroa in Tahiti.

For this scene, I used my new compact camera, a Panasonic Lumix dmczs50 with an impressively sharp Zeitz lens. I don't know how much better my Nikon D200 would have done.

On a personal note, in response to my good friend Mesut's note: One of my closest friends, an Israeli physicist, likes to say, "The Ancient Greeks had it much better, with their Pantheon of gods!" We pat ourselves on the back, speaking about, "having discovered there was only one God." More blood has been spilled in the Kingdom of Heaven, than on all other battlefields.

Warm regards to my friends at Trekearth.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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