Around Marau Sound
History, People & Culture
Marau Sound is located at the tip of east Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Its uniqueness is not only in the geographical cross road of the Tasi Mauri (life sea) which the Guadalcanal Weather-coast is famous for, and the peaceful water of the north-east Guadalcanal, rather, its history goes back to the time of the ancestors of the present people who are inhabiting the many islands from Marauiapa, Noke Noke, Alite, Simiruka, Niu, Tawaihi, Marapa, and coastal communities of Makina and Hatare.
Marau Sound. Pic: Darcy O'shea.
Early migrations from Are Are to the Eastern tip of Guadalcanal have significance in the history, politics, and culture of what we know today as Marau Sound. The name Marau means island in the distance in the early dialect of those occupied the area, the Are Are (Malaita) speaking people. There were intermarriages among those Are Are, Bota, and Birao ethnic groups which further distinct them in their own right to call themselves the Marau people.
Today, the Marau people speak a dialect similar to Are Are speaking language, except the tones are quite different.
Marau people follow the paternal system of inheritance, which is different from the female inheritance system of the rest of the Guadalcanal people.
Traditional bride price is still encouraged but with the mixture of the modern cash payment. Marriage arrangements in the traditional Marau culture are done by parents and relatives. The traditional shell money in Marau is named according to the size and strings which form the value of the money. Ten strings of shell beads are called Kariavara, medium sized shell money is known as Tahanaa rua, and the smallest one is called Haatahana, which is good for necklace or souvenir to bring home and remind our visitors of the friendly people they came across in their lives in a rural place somewhere in the Solomon Islands- Marau Sound.
Most of the Marau people are depending on their natural environment to sustain their livelihoods. Many are practicing semi subsistent farming and fishing. Since no one there can escape the cash economy, their cash incomes from agriculture, marine resources, and increasing small ecotourism lodges in different locations this God-given treasure.
Five marine protected areas (reserves) have been established in Marau Sound with the cooperation of the National Fisheries Ministry.
General weather conditions in Marau Sound are wet and dry sessions throughout the year. From November to April each year is generally regarded as the wet session, which tropical cyclones are expected in the South Pacific, and locally Marau Sound. We would like to inform the visitors to consider the fact that even during dry session we can still experience some shower and windy days which can still affect some outdoor activities.
Since weather is unpredictable, we advice our visitors to search for weather forecasts of the Solomon Islands on this web link: http://www.met.gov.sb/
Our average temperature is 29 degree celcius during the day. And quite colder in the night. But our climate is tropical which is suit for snorkeling, swimming, and other outdoor activities.
Looking across the Conflict Bay water towards the unihabited white sandy islands of Marau Sound from the Conflict Bay Lodge veranda. Photo: Lu Liang 2012.