Stories From Kiribati

A place where we could add stories and photos related to Kiribati!

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Becoming a woman

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 19, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Taatita was a twelve year old girl who lived with her parents and grandparents on Tarawa. When the time came to celebrate the fact that Taatita was a young woman instead of a little girl, she stayed inside a hut with her grandmother for three days.

She was given a special diet by her grandmother. This was to teach her how to control and spend her family resources wisely in the future. Her grandmother gave her dried coconut to eat and water to drink in small amounts. She was no...

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How to make a toy windmill from coconut leaflet

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 3, 2013 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Has your kid ever asked you to make him/her a toy windmill from the coconut leaflet? If yes but you apologized for not knowing how to, then this article is for you. It’s a guide in making this peculiar toy and I’d say that the steps provided below are simple and easy to follow. I suggest you have the leaflet in your hands so you build one as you read down the steps.

Kids really love playing with this kind of toy - it’s fun and enjoyable especially on the beac...

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How to make coconut wine

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 22, 2013 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Coconut wine is actually fermented liquor that could only be obtained from the juice of the coconut flowers. The juice is specifically called toddy. Fresh toddy is sweet and tasty before it is turned into wine. Once it has become wine, then it tastes sour much like any other alcoholic drinks. 

We will now discuss two methods of making coconut wine our Kiribati wine makers usually carry out!

Method One

Things needed:

i. todd...

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How to make a coconut cup

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 21, 2013 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

What we are discussing this time is how to make a cup out of the coconut. Wait! Why using coconut cups when there are plenty of other types of cups? Well - they are a lot cheaper, durable and very easy as well as fun to make. Above all, using them at home makes you and your family look traditional and tropical :-)

Just follow the 8 steps below and you will end up with a nice coconut cup that is best for holding both hot and cold drinks. Refer to the images provided below the a...

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How to make a coconut hand broom

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 20, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Many homes in Kiribati have coconut hand brooms! Why? It’s simply because the item is very useful for keeping the inside of the houses clean as well as removing dust and dirt. Other uses of this broom (apart from sweeping) includes chasing off insects, selling, reaching and dragging far objects, decorations and can sometimes be used for whipping naughty kids at home :-)

Before we jump into the process of making this special type of broom, you may wonder why it is being c...

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How to extract coconut cream

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Coconut cream is a milky liquid obtained from compressing (squeezing and twisting) grated meat of a mature coconut. Instantly on its own, it is pure, concentrated, thicker than normal liquid and milky in color. It is among very useful ingredients commonly used in cooking foods. It can also be turned into other utile products mainly oil for body and hair, cooking and lubrication.

Kiribati people often cook and/or add this cream to their local foods. It’s primarily bec...

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Coconut tree

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)


The coconut tree is known to be growing well in the tropical islands of the Pacific. Here in Kiribati, they do grow well and are indeed making the islands easier to being spotted and seen away in the horizon. Without these trees, no doubt, the islands of Kiribati - which are no more than two meters above sea level – won’t be seen so easily from the distance. In fact and as many may not aware of, the leaves of the coconut wave the first welcome as well as the last...

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Taboo - Disturbing canoe props

Posted by Amota Eromanga on November 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

'Taboo' is known to be something culturally forbidden to either say, use or do. Kiribati has unique taboos which people likely begin learning from their early ages.

The particular taboo discussed here is one that prohibits I-Kiribati from touching or moving the props of a fishing canoe while its owner is away fishing in the ocean. Props are indeed wood or other similar materials used to comfortably rest the bottom part of the canoe when it is on land. The Kiribati word for th...

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How to crack a coconut

Posted by Amota Eromanga on November 8, 2012 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Coconut is among the fruits that stores its tasty meat and juice inside a hard shell.

So if you want to get the meat, juice or cream, you must first get the coconut. You can get one from the tree or buy it from places that sell them. If the one you get is straight from the tree, then you need to remove the husk first. If you don’t know how to remove the husk, don’t worry as we have an article on

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Parts of the Kiribati canoe

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 30, 2012 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Hopefully you have arrived at this page because you want to know the names and locations of almost all different and distinctive parts of the Kiribati canoe. If so, then you have come to the right spot as here, the names, locations and purposes of the canoe parts have all been listed down - so that you know exactly where and why they are on the canoe.

The information has been organised with the help of the table below. In the first column of the table, you will find the K...

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Toddy knife

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 28, 2012 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (2)

“Hey, that’s the toddy knife, leave it!” This phrase is commonly heard at homes. It’s indeed what toddy cutters usually say (warn) when they see anybody taking their toddy knife for other uses.

A toddy knife, by its name, is a knife used mainly for cutting toddy. Yet this knife should have been thoroughly sharpened so it cuts the tip of the spathe smoothly. Blunt is the worst enemy of this particular knife. Toddy cutters won’t cut toddy with a b...

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How to husk a coconut - brown or green

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I couldn’t remember how old I was when I first started learning coconut husking. It could have been started by watching my father (and people around the community I grew up in) husking the coconuts. However, I could only be sure that it happened when I was quite a young boy – my mother would ask me to husk coconuts for her cooking mostly.

The skill is not hard as to what some people might have thought of. Thus I agree that it requires a little 'power' but most of all ‘...

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How to make a coconut broom with a stick handle

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 26, 2012 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The coconut broom is one of the very important items in the homes of IKiribati. A home without a broom means people clean around their houses by picking rubbish with their hands or they have a dirty surrounding. The broom we will be dealing with in this blog is one that has a stick handle. Making a broom of this kind is as easy as writing 1, 2 and 3 :-)

Things Needed:

i. veins (middle fiber) of coconut leaflets

ii. string (about 10 meters lo...

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Toddy information

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 23, 2012 at 2:30 AM Comments comments (2)

What is toddy?

Toddy is the name of the sap that drips from the spathe of the coconut tree. It is sweet and tasty when it is fresh. It has been the source of drink for the people of Kiribati. People boil extra toddy to avoid it from fermenting or turning sour. If toddy is boiled for hours, it will finally turn into syrup, thus they call it kamwaimwai.

Uses of toddy

A lot of people use their extra toddy to earn money. They sell toddy especially...

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How to wind toddy

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 21, 2012 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Things needed:

     i. sharp toddy knife

     ii. string (about 10 meters in length)

     iii. coconut tree with ripe spathe

Never wind toddy spathe before? Let me show you, but first let me say that in Kiribati men cut toddy for the family. Toddy cutting is the job of boys and young men. Women help in making string and sometimes in cleaning toddy containers.

Okay, let’s go: Climb up t...

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The Kiribati game of Oreano

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 17, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Oreano is the name of the Kiribati outdoor game which comes from two words ore (meaning hitting or throwing) and ano (the ball). So the word oreano is literally the game of ‘throwing the ball’. Te ano has no standard size or weight but women use a bigger but lighter ball than the men. However, men usually play using the ano of about 20cm in diameter and around 5kg in weight.

The core of the ano is made up of a round...

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Land Fishing - Coconut Crabs

Posted by Amota Eromanga on July 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I am glad to share what I know on how to catch many coconut crabs. This method - catching coconut crabs - is quite different from the methods used for catching fish from the lagoon or ocean although both use the same term ‘akawaan’ literally ‘fishing’. Others call it ‘land fishing’. If you have already known a method like this before, I hope the one I’m sharing now is somehow a little different. If not, allow me to publish it for others.


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Family Life

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 28, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Iotebwa lives on Tarawa in the village of Bikenibeu. He had three brothers and two sisters. He is the oldest in his family. Most of his cousins, uncles, aunties and grandparents live near him in his village.

Every week day Iotebwa’s father, Rimon, goes to work on Betio. He works for a shipping company which sends copra to Australia where it is used to make soap and perfume. He catches the ‘Coconut Express’ bus at the village bus stop. If the ‘Coconut ExpressR...

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Lives Of IKiribati - Land and Sea Food

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The lives of IKiribati (Kiribati people) depend mainly on trees, animals and fish which grow well on their islands and in their lagoon and ocean. Additionally, imported foods from overseas have provided more for the people. However, many people have gradually turned away from their traditional food and are now depending more on imported food and drinks.

The coconut tree is believed to be the most useful of all trees. This is so due to being a versatile tree providing not just needy raw ...

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Toddy Cutting

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

At this boarding school, students need toddy for the dining hall. They all enjoy drinking toddy and eating meals cooked with toddy. The boys start learning to cut toddy when they come here. But many have already known how to cut toddy from their homes. Tangiraoi is very good at cutting toddy, and he always collects more toddy than anyone else. It is his job to teach other students how to choose a tree and how to cut toddy properly.

First of all Tangiraoi has to find a good, h...

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