Tuesday, 29 July 2008 2:30 PM

Combining the Old and the New in Weddings

Cultural practices in collaboration with a modern wedding still exist in the western part of the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Times was informed that weddings in the Western Province still combine aspects of their traditional practice into the modern setting.

"We still practice our ceremonial tomoko breaking wedding tradition," Billy Beto of Roviana from the Western Province told Solomon Times.

Mr. Beto said that it is still a must to have the traditional tomoko war canoe in place at any given wedding in the village.

"The tomoko war canoe symbolizes the seriousness of the newly wedded couple in being ready to start their family," he said.

Mr. Beto said that a tomoko war canoe is always in the make ready for the next wedding to take place.

"Whoever approaches the tomoko and smashes it to pieces indicates to guests that they will be the next to host a wedding and this could be for any nephew, niece, aunty or uncle," he explained.

In preparing a tomoko for a wedding, the canoe is filled from front to back with local food such as pig, betel nut among many local valuables.

Mr. Beto said that food set in the back of the canoe are for those who had previously wedded and the food in front would be given to the one who takes up the challenge of breaking the tomoko.

He said that a wedding without a tomoko reflects little of the celebration for the people of Roviana.