Introduction / History
The Fataleka people of the Solomon Islands live on the northern end of Malaita Island. Christian workers first arrived in Malaita in the early 1900s. Today, most Fataleka people consider themselves Christians, but many still fear spirits and quietly follow certain rules said to keep them happy. Old traditions, based in these animistic beliefs, still hold heavy sway over their daily activities.
Fataleka speakers provide for their families by farming and fishing. The father is the head of his home, and inheritance is passed through the father’s family.
Some families are able to send their children to boarding school in a larger city after sixth grade. Though this provides young adults with a valuable secondary education, few skilled jobs exist in the tight urban job market. Many of the young people who graduate from high school in the city are reluctant to return to farming in their rural home areas. These circumstances are creating a jobless generation.
The literacy rate among the Fataleka is quite low, about half of the population can read and write.
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