Sereke Pua ('Pottery-Making'): History of a Dying Tradition on Lauru (Choiseul), Solomon Islands

Charles Radclyffe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Solomon Islands is widely recognized in the Pacific for its local talent and expertise in the handicrafts of wood-carving, shell ornamentation and basketry. Pottery-making is a largely forgotten and poorly documented tradition that was actively practised until the 1970s on the province of Choiseul. This paper investigates the history of this tradition by drawing upon unpublished ethnographic studies carried out on the island between the 1960s and 1990s as well as findings from archaeological research undertaken there more recently. Attention is given mainly to examining causes of the decline of pottery-making on the island and discussing why it occurred a few centuries earlier in southeast Choiseul than it did in its northwest end. This article also highlights the significant cultural value the practice holds for the people of Lauru (Choiseul’s Indigenous name), and it provides an overview of recent efforts to preserve this once vibrant tradition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-41
    JournalThe Journal of Pacific History
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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