Friday, 22 August 2008 9:50 AM

A Bright New Concept for Solomon Islands National Museum

Solomon Islands cultural heritage will be protected, preserved and promoted, with a new innovative 'cultural field kit', developed in partnership between the Solomon Islands National Museum and the Australian Museum.

This week the Solomon Islands National Museum has been testing an innovative field kit for displaying and recording traditional cultural objects and practices in the Solomon Islands.

The kit includes a DVD player, 22 inch monitor, speakers and recording device in a waterproof and shockproof case. It plays a multilingual DVD (English/Solomon Islands Pidgin) with a focus on traditional currencies and fishing technologies.

Dr Paul Monaghan of the Australian Museum is spending two weeks in Solomon Islands, training museum staff how to use the new technology to record and promote Solomon Islands culture.

"The field kit is a positive and innovative step towards enhancing the understanding of Solomon Islands culture and heritage in Solomon Islands and in Australia."

"By enabling the staff of the Solomon Islands National Museum to gather, document and display key cultural practices for use in remote communities and schools, the field kit will play an important role in promoting intangible cultural heritage and will assist in cultural revitalization."

Students at White River High School were among the first to view the cultural field kit on Thursday 21 August. Students reacted enthusiastically to the digital images and displays.

Lawrence Foana'ota, Director, Solomon Islands National Museum, began working on the project in 2007, when he visited the Australian Museum to document the museum's extensive collection of Solomon Islands' artifacts.

"Much of the traditional skills and knowledge in the Solomon Islands is disappearing and there is an interest at all levels of society to bring back some of these skills and knowledge" he said.

The cultural field kit will be officially launched at a ceremony to be held at the National Museum on Monday 25 August at 3pm.

The project is generously supported by International Council of Museums Australian Committee (ICOM Australia) and the National Museum of Australia under the ICOM Australia Museum Partnerships Program (IAMPP).



PRESS RELEASE (AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION, HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS)