Quick report from the Salomon Islands, on knife use

Mar 25, 1999
I've just been to the Salomon Islands and visited some areas where some people live under rather primitive conditions compared to us.

Knives are important tools. Most carry around a bush knife like a machete. Nobody uses sheaths, so they're really carried all the time. Used for everything, showing that a large knife can do the task of a small knife, but not the other way round. There are no age restrictions and the like, of course, so it's a very "knife friendly" society...

Smaller knives like the Swedish Mora knives are popular presents, as they are useful too, and sometimes stainless. Best of all are Swedish axes, Gransfors and Hults. "We've been exporting to there for 60+ years" one of them has said.

These people use very few tools, but the knife comments also fit in on other Salomon Islanders who live more in the modern world. Knife, axe, something to make fire with, bow and arrow (but very few hunt and only the hunter himself may eat what he's shot, so in practice they are vegetarians and eat only taro, sweet potato, more taro, sometimes onion, of course salt, still more taro and taro done in lots of other ways. Everything without spices. I can testify that you CAN live on that diet, as that was part of the "experience", but it sure is boring!

Myself, I brought a Mora 2000 and a Starmate, both of which were used for everything, but mostly opening coconuts and sometimes lobsters. The Starmate looks like hell now (picture forthcoming), but it continued to work even though abused by people who'd never seen a folder before (important thought here: How come they haven't seen folders!). (The Mora 2000 of course was left behind, but it also worked so well I think I'll get one for my own use at home, when that kind of knife is appropriate.)
Griffin, does the clothing of the more primitive folks have pockets? If it does, I guess that people that don't sheath there blades don't really understand the reason for folding the blade, then putting it where it's hard to get to. Also, in tropical climates, cloth and leather come apart quickly. Heavy items in pockets are liable to get lost quickly. May be a good place to introduce Kydex sheaths.:D slewis36
Originally posted by slewis36
Griffin, does the clothing of the more primitive folks have pockets?
No. And unmarried women among the traditional Kwaio aren't allowed to wear any clothes at all, and the rest of them and the men don't wear much in the way of clothing either.