Also known as: Kurtatchi; Tinputz

Buka is an island separated by a narrow strait from the larger island of Bougainville to the south. The people of Buka and of the northern coast of Bougainville speak related Austronesian languages, and form a cultural unit. The primary source on this culture, Beatrice Blackwood's "Both Sides of Buka Passage", is based largely on fieldwork carried out in the Tinputz-speaking village of Kurtatchi on the north coast of Bougainville.

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Traditional Culture(1860-1885)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 462-543, 524-525
Nature god(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 462-543, 505
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 477-478
Deified ancestor(s) Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 462-543
God(s) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 462-543, 505

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 516-517

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 505-506, 513
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 37-40
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 37-40
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 462-543

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 505

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 64-65
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 298-543
Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 32-81, 462-543

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 475
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 475
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Blackwood (1935)
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 278-279, 491
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 1-624, 278-279
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 50-51, 462-543

Rites

Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 424-426
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 424-432
Scarification Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 426-432
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 426
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 426
Social Environment +
Importance of Patrilateral descent Low (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 32-33
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 32-33
Kinship system Iroquois (Source)
Ogan (1991), pp. 132
Polygamy Limited polygyny (Source)
Ogan (1991), pp. 132
Marital residence Matrilocal or uxorilocal - with wife's kin (Source)
Ogan (1991), pp. 132

Conflict

Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii-xxiii, 47-48
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 47-48
Conflict within communities Low (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 32-81
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii-xiii
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii-xxiii
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 5070.1 (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Ogan (1991), pp. 131
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 271-297, 281, 284
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 284, 317-326, 326
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 271-297, 276, 277-278, 283-284
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 284, 317-326, 326
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 272

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 272, 284, 326-358
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 272, 284, 326-358
Water-based gathering Medium (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 271-297, 276, 284-285

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Major (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. 272-273, 284
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Bellwood et al (1975)
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Two (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xix, xxii

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude -5.5 (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 154.8 (Source)
Blackwood (1935), pp. xxii
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Yule (1995), pp. 507
Island Size (km²) 8600.0 (Source)
Yule (1995), pp. 507
Maximum elevation (meters) 2743.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Bougainville Island) (2015)
Post Contact History(1885-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Regan & Griffin (2005), pp. 126, 318
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Regan & Griffin (2005), pp. 318
Secular History +

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Regan & Griffin (2005), pp. 240-258

Loss of Autonomy

Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Regan & Griffin (2005), pp. 77-108, 168-199
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Regan & Griffin (2005), pp. 318
External Links
References
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

Blackwood, B. (1935). Both Sides of Buka Passage: An Ethnographic Study of Social, Sexual, and Economic Questions in the North-Western Solomon Islands. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

Bougainville Island. (2015). Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Retrieved from http://academic.eb.com/EBchecked/topic/75436/Bougainville-Island

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

Buka Island. (2015). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/place/Buka-Island

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.

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

Ogan, E. (1991). "Kurtatchi". In T.E. Hays (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania) (pp 131-133). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.

Regan, A. J. & Griffin, H. M. (2005). Bougainville Before the Conflict. Canberra, ACT, Australia:Pandanus Books

Yule, C.M. (1995). Benthic Invertebrate Fauna of an Aseasonal Tropical Mountain Stream on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. Marine and Freshwater Research, 46 (2), 507-518. DOI: 10.1071/MF9950507