Also known as: Bellonese; Munggiki

Bellona, a raised coral island, is one of the 'Polynesian Outliers'. Its language and culture are very similar to those of neighbouring Rennell. Like the Rennellese, the Bellonese maintained their indigenous religion until a mass conversion in 1938.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1937)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 23-153
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 29-84
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 112-140
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 112-140
God(s) Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 23-153

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 40, 55

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 112-121
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 112-121
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 24
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 23
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 23-153

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 39

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 398
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 392-402
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 48, 400

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 398-399
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 398-399
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7-20, 157-412
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 114
Largest religious community Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7-20, 175-217, 404
Political and religious differentiation No overlap (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7-20, 175-217

Rites

Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 65
Social Environment +
Population 440 (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 89-91
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7-20
Importance of Patrilateral descent High (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 8-9, 17
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 8-9, 17
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 8, 15
Marital residence Neolocal - separate from kin (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 13, 14

Conflict

(No) external warfare Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 170-177
Kuschel (1988a)
Conflict within community High (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 53-101, 152-220
(No) internal warfare Common, at least every five years (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 53-101, 152-220
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 51-52, 55-56, 91, 170
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 22.5 (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 47
Google Maps (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 1544.0 (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109, 123
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)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 51-52
Elbert & Monberg (1965), pp. 19
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Absent (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 29-87
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 70
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 68-71
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Absent (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 70
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 29

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 71-74
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 71-74
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 70-71

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Absent (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 29-87
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 83
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Atoll (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7
Island Size (km²) 17.0 (Source)
Christiansen (1975), pp. 88
Maximum elevation (meters) 55.0 (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 10-11

Location

Latitude -11.3 (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 159.8 (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 7
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1937-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Mixed / Neither (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 232
Use of force in conversion Medium (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 232-233
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Monberg (1991), pp. 3
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Absent (Source)
Kuschel (1988a)

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001A), pp. 5
Elbert & Monberg (1965), pp. 19
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 233-234
Immigration Absent (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 10-12
Language shift Low (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 10
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 45

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence Low (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 17-19
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 19-20

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present but rarely used (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 14
Air travel Present, local only (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 14
Sea port Absent (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 14

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 233-234
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Kuschel (1988b), pp. 233-234
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Unofficial religious syncretism Low (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 5
Elbert & Monberg (1965), pp. 19
Institutional religious syncretism Low (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 5
Elbert & Monberg (1965), pp. 19
Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Solomon Islands Government (2001B), pp. 6
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.

Christiansen, S. (1975). Subsistence on Bellona Island (Mungiki): A study of the cultural ecology of a Polynesian Outlier in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. Copenhagen, Denmark: Reitzels Forlag.

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.

Elbert, S.H. & Monberg, T. (1965). From the Two Canoes: Oral Traditions on Rennell and Bellona Islands. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Kuschel, R. (1988a). Early Contacts between Bellona and Rennell Islands and the Outside World. The Journal of Pacific History, 23 (2), 191-200. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25168958.

Kuschel, R. (1988b). Vengeance is their reply: Blood feuds and homicides on Bellona Island (Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Copehagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ministry of Provincial Government and Rural Development. (2001). Rennell and Bellona Province Development Profile. Honiara, Solomon Islands: Ministry of Provincial Government and Rural Development.

Monberg, T. (1991). Bellona Island Beliefs and Rituals. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Solomon Islands Government (2001). Malaita Province Development Profile. Honiara, Solomon Islands: Ministry of Provincial Government and Rural Development.