Culture

Intricately woven bukaware baskets are made all over the country except here, it seems, where they originated. The baskets are made from jungle vine, and the variation in colour is achieved by scraping the skin off the vine. They can be simple drink coasters or giant laundry baskets, and they’re the most skilfully made, solid and durable baskets in the Pacific. They were originally made by the Siwai and Telei people of southwest Buka Island.

There are 23 languages in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville; Tok Pisin is the second main language but most people speak English well. The people of Takuu (Mortlock) and Nukumani islands are Polynesian.

Bougainvilleans have a matrilineal system of clan membership and inheritance rights. Most still live in bush-material housing in villages and grow cash crops.