Temotu’s Traditional Slings for Throwing Stones

Spread the love


THE majority of Solomon Islanders are well versed in the famous Bible story of David and Goliath; it’s no surprise here. The part where he swings the sling and tosses the rock, hitting Goliath.

In the Solomon Islands, for centuries, the ancient people of the Santa Cruz in Temotu province have also used a native tree fiber traditionally known as ‘Tirpesoli’ to create this sling, which is an almost identical match to David’s sling in 1 Samuel 17.

Like David’s sling, this popular Temotu sling is braided with a double-long cord, a finger hole, and a pouch to strap stones. This sling is very functional and unique to this remote region of the country.

Kennedy Olu, 50, from Santa Cruz, Temotu’s largest island, told Tourism Media that Temotu is the only province in the Solomon Islands to have popularized this ancient sling as a weapon.

Kennedy Olu of Santa Cruz Island, Temotu province in his traditional attire at this year’s Tinakula Festival of Arts and Culture held at the Solomon Islands National University Village, east of Honiara.

“Since I was a young child, I observed our older generations for their skill as slingers.

“In Santa Cruz, our ancestors used slings as a weapon to take down their enemies during tribal fights. This weapon was used to swing at the heads and bodies of our enemies and can be used in any fight situation due to its short- and long-range use.

“This low-status weapon was commonly used for warfare in ancient times. The stone is placed into the pouch, and the user swings it around several times. The cords are released, and the stone is launched forward. Traditional slingers in Temotu could wear their slings as clothing on their heads when not in battle. The Slingshot is considered to be more reliable, accurate, and deadly,” Kennedy said.

He noted the dancers of Nende from Temotu are very happy to participate in this year’s recent inaugural 2023 Tinakula Festival of Arts and Culture held at the Solomon Islands National University Village, east of Honiara, and proud to showcase and share information about traditional sling making and dance as part of their heritage.

“We are working to ensure that the knowledge of traditional sling making and dance is passed down from generation to generation,” he said.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.