The Arosi inhabit the western end of Makira (also known as San Cristobal) in the Solomon Islands. They are they subject of an ethnography by Fox (1924) who claimed that they worshipped a supreme being (the winged serpent Hatuibwari), a feature highly unusual for this part of the world. Scott (2007) reassessed Arosi religion, and made a convincing case that Hatuibwari, and the concept of a supreme being more generally, was not a feature of Arosi religion prior to European contact.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1825-1850)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 78-137, 201-280, 124, 129
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 124
Scott (2007), pp. 315-316
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 172
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 174-175, 188, 194
God(s) Absent (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 78-137, 201-280
Scott (2007), pp. 161-200

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 152-153

Afterlife and Creation

The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 172-179
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 5, 13, 261-300
Fox (1924), pp. 238
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 5
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 174-175, 188, 194, 265-266

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 262

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 157
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 297
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 297

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 418
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 418
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 78-137, 201-280, 305-313
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 112-114
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 75-82, 315-316
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 116

Rites

Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 184, 190
Scarification Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 184, 190
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 184, 190
Social Environment +
Population of largest political community 1,000-9,999 (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 8, 305
Importance of Patrilateral descent Low (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 6, 22
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 6, 22
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Hays (1991E), pp. 289
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Hays (1991E), pp. 289

Conflict

Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 78
Conflict between communities of the culture Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 305
Conflict with other cultures Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 305
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 305
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 4
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 6004.4 (Source)
Fox (1924), pp. 4
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 261-300
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 61
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 44-46
Hays (1991A), pp. 289

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Minor (Source)
Hays (1991A), pp. 289
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Bellwood et al (1975)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 37

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -10.3 (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 41
Longitude 161.3 (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 41
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Petterson et al (2009)
Island Size (km²) 3190.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (San Cristobal) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 1250.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (San Cristobal) (2014)
Post Contact History(1850-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 95-100
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. xxix
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. xxix, 17

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Present, but did not survive to the present-day (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 84, 105-129, 115-116
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. xxix, 86-87
Immigration Absent (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. xxx, 37-39
Language shift Medium (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 37
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 56

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Medium (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 57
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 57, 62

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present but rarely used (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 39
Sea port Absent (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 180
Scott (2007), pp. 62

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Partly voluntary (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 82-103
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 82-103, 86-87
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 167-168
Institutional religious syncretism Medium (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. 182-183, 186
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Scott (2007), pp. xxix, 39, 301
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Bellwood, P., Ayres, W. S., Clune Jr, F. J., Craib, J., Durbin, T. E., Young, F. A., ... & Green, R. C. (1975). The Prehistory of Oceania [and Comments and Reply]. Current Anthropology, 16(1), 9-28. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2740946

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Brookfield, H. C., & Hart, D. (1971). Melanesia: a geographical interpretation of an island world. London: Methuen.

Brunton, R. (1989). The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (San Cristobal). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://academic.eb.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/EBchecked/topic/521040/San-Cristobal

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Solomon Islands). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/553556/Solomon-Islands

Fox, C.E. (1924). The Threshold of the Pacific: An Account of the Social Organization Magic and Religion of the People of San Cristobal in the Solomon Islands. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.

Hays, T.E. (1991A). Easter Island. In Hays, T.E. (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Hays, T.E. (1991E). "San Cristobal". In T.E. Hays (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania) (pp 298). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Petterson, M.G., Magu, R., Mason, A., Mahoa, H., Tolia, D., Neal, C.R. & Mahoney, J.J. (2009). A First Geological Map of Makira, Solomon Islands: Stratigraphy, Structure and Tectonic Implications. In Petterson, M. (Ed.), Pacific Minerals in the New Millenium: Science, Exploration, Mining and Community: The Jackson Lum Volume. Suva, Fiji: SOPAC Secretariat.

Scott, M. (2007). The Severed Snake: Matrilineages, Making Place, and a Melanesian Christianity in Southeast Solomon Islands. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.