Bughotu is the name given to the southern tip of Santa Isabel Island, as well as the language spoken there. In the second half of the nineteenth century the people of Bugotu were both perpetrators and victims of large-scale headhunting raids.

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Traditional Culture(1885)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)
God(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)

Classes of Tapu

Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)


Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Blust (2007)
Bogesi (1948B)
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Bogesi (1948B)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)
Bogesi (1948B)
Jackson (1975)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Absent (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)


Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)
Bogesi (1948B)
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Bogesi (1948B)
Social Environment +
Population 4,000 (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Importance of Patrilateral descent Low (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 217
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 217


(No) external warfare Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Jackson (1975)
(No) internal warfare Occasional, at least every generation (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Jackson (1975), pp. 65
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Bogesi (1948A)
Distance to nearest continent 1709.0 (Source)
Tryon & Hackman (1983), pp. 23
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)
Jackson (1975), pp. 65, 59
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Medium (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 223-224
Land-based gathering Major (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 223
Agriculture / Horticulture Major (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 221, 223

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 225-226
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Bogesi (1948A), pp. 223, 225-226
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Bellwood et al (1975)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Two (Source)
Tryon & Hackman (1983), pp. 23

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Laracy & Foster (2020)
Island Size (kmĀ²) 4660.0 (Source)
Clark & Bedford (2008), pp. 64
Maximum elevation (meters) 1219.0 (Source)
Clark & Bedford (2008), pp. 64


Latitude -8.5 (Source)
Tryon & Hackman (1983), pp. 23
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 159.8 (Source)
Tryon & Hackman (1983), pp. 23
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1885-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +


Role of social status in conversion process Primarily a top-down process. (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Jackson (1975)

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Jackson (1975)
Bogesi (1948A)
Bogesi (1948B)
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Immigration Low (Source)
Solomon Islands Census (Isabel Profile) (2009), pp. 25
Language shift Medium (Source)
Solomon Islands Census (Isabel Profile) (2009), pp. 32
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Solomon Islands Census (Isabel Profile) (2009), pp. 28

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
'Santa Isabel' (2016)

Modern Infrastructure

Sea port Present (Source)
'Santa Isabel' (2016)
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Jackson (1975)
External Links
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

Bogesi, G. (1948A). Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands. Oceania, 18 (3), 208-232. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40328163

Bogesi, G. (1948B). Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands (Continued). Oceania, 18 (4), 327-357. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40328178

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

Clark, G.R. & Bedford, S. (2008). Friction Zones in Lapita Colonisation. In G.R. Clark, G.R, S. O'Connor & B.F. Leach, Islands of Inquiry: Colonisation, Seafaring and the Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes (pp 59-73). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

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

Daft Logic Area Calculator. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm.

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

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

Jackson, A. (1975). Head-hunting in the Christianization of Bugotu 1861-1900. The Journal of Pacific History, 10 (1), 65-78. DOI: 10.1080/00223347508572266

Laracy, H. M. & Foster, S. (2020). Solomon Islands. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Solomon-Islands.

Santa Isabel (2016). Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Santa-Isabel.

Solomon Islands Government. (2009). Provincial Profile of the 2009 Population & Housing Census: Isabel. Retrieved from: http://www.spc.int/prism/solomons/index.php/sinso-documents?view=download&fileId=67

Tryon, D. T., & Hackman, B. D. (1983). Solomon Islands languages: An internal classification. Canberra, Australia: Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.