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Stories From Kiribati


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Feet forgotten behind

Posted by Amota Eromanga on April 23, 2019 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The trainee had been visiting the home of the missionary for the bible lessons. He usually arrived before 12, then after the lessons with the missionary, he waited for lunch. He then went off after the meal.

The missionary’s wife spoke out, “Did he come here to learn the bible or for the food?”

“Please, stop saying that. Show love and kindness,” missionary replied.

The wife agreed and tried to feel okay. However, the trainee kept coming back.

Then one day, after the trainee had left the house, the wife said, “Time to do something. Tomorrow we will eat lunch at 11 instead of 12:30!”

Unfortunately, the trainee hadn’t left but stood outside the door listening.

The couple did what they had planned. Just as they were about to eat, they heard the same voice again.

“Hide behind the cupboard!” wife told husband.

The missionary quickly did so (not knowing that his feet could be seen from under the cupboard).

“Is he home?” asked trainee.

“Sorry, he’s gone to visit the sick in the village,” said wife.

“Oh, poor missionary. He had forgotten something!” trainee added.

“What’s that?” wife insisted.

“His feet!” said the trainee and pointing to the base of the cupboard.

Tsunami - a new word

Posted by Amota Eromanga on April 18, 2019 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

One day, on one of the outer islands, the police constable alerted the villagers of the tsunami. He rode his bicycle through the villages and for every distance of 100 meters or so, he had to shout from the road.

“Tsunami is expected today at around 2:00 pm. Prepare and get ready!” shouted the constable from his bicycle.

An elderly woman was busy cleaning around her retail store. When she heard the announcement, she instantly thought ‘tsunami’ was a new saleable good. She shouted back at the top of her voice, “And how much is it?”

How To Make A Garland Known as Itera

Posted by Amota Eromanga on April 12, 2019 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The word ‘itera’ is the local name for the special type of flower garland that consists of two layers. The top layer is made of green plant leaves while the bottom layer has colored flowers. The core use of this particular type of garland is for decorating and making a person look decent during formal and informal social gatherings. It has been an important device and its presence seems to not only for expressing the beauty and excitement but also for signifying the honour and importance of the social festival being held.

The proper way of using the itera garland is placing it on a person’s head. When resting it on someone’s head, be sure that the layer of green leaves is on top and the layer of flowers is at the base - as shown in the picture below. Hence, there are other times when people may tie (hang) it around their neck in order to let it rest over their chests.

The making of this exceptional garland requires a skill of weaving (or braiding if you like). In our culture, it’s the job of the women, therefore many started learning it as they grew up. Despite that, few men are motivated enough to learn and perform this feminine task quite well. Although seeing a woman weaving a garland is conventional, seeing a man doing the same thing often looks strange but definitely not a taboo. The weaver’s eyes and fingers work together actively as the weaver performs movements and patterns in fastening both the flowers and green leaves onto the string and into a fine-looking garland. When completed, the new garland is usually dipped into a bowl of water in order for the flowers and leaves to stay fresh much longer. Sometimes, small amount of hair oil is slightly put all over the flowers so that the garland produces such a pleasant aroma for the users.

Let’s pause from talking about this garland, and move onto how to make it.

Things needed:
- two (or more) different types of flowers
- green plant leaves
- string
- knife, scissors

We’ve made a video on how to weave this particular type of garland. You can watch it on YouTube by clicking this link

Te Burouti

Posted by Amota Eromanga on March 30, 2019 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

N te moaningabong teuana ao e tekateka temanna te aine (50+ ana ririki) iaon ana kiakia ae mena i tanrio. E a ti nora naba te kaibuke are e tabe n rororake n te nama. E na tabwara ao kai are e a takaruaa naba raoraona (te unaine) are e mena n te auti are irarikia, “Neiko, ko boni karauko ao kai e a roko te kaibuke aei!”

E aki manga kabanetai neiere saunaine (are e tabe n taawai ana ben) ma e a manga takaarua n titiraki, “Ao e burouti ke e aki?”

“I taku bwa e bae ni burouti!” e takaarua raona arei mai iaon ana kiakia.

[E a bon tia ikanne, ai tiaki te ‘float’ bwa ai te ‘burouti’. E na kanga ao are akea ara ‘f’ aingaia are e a kabonganaaki naba ‘b’]

Making Te Ano (ball) Using Coconut Leaflets

Posted by Amota Eromanga on March 12, 2019 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Before the arrival of foreign items into Kiribati, we had our own traditional ball which we could make from the leaves of the coconut or pandanus trees. Using dry pandanus leaves instead of coconut leaflets will end up with a larger ball because pandanus leaves are longer and wider. We could make either a small or bigger one depending on the size preferences. If we prefer a bigger ball, then it’s important to use more leaflets. The more leaflets used in weaving, the bigger the final ball we get. Another way of enlarging a ball (without using many leaflets) is to keep adding new leaflets to the ones being used so the weaving goes on.

In spite of what we stated, this article shows you how to weave a good size ball comprises of 4 coconut leaflets. The ball size and weight are perfect for children’s grip and games. It is also easy to weave as it involves only 4 leaflets. This brings up the fact that weaving with more leaves is harder than weaving with fewer leaves.

Our traditional name for this particular ball is ‘te ano’. Kiribati people used te ano to play different sorts of indoor and outdoor games. One popular and favourable outdoor game that needs te ano is ‘te kabwe’. Te kabwe was one of the traditional games Nei Teareintarawa favoured the most. Hope you’ve heard of that story. If you haven’t, then don’t miss it as it’s one of the best and well known legends. Te ano is the best ball for your children as it is light, soft, easily gripped and of course costless.

If you can’t make this ball, think of learning the necessary skills. Who knows a time to make one comes and you won’t be prepared. It’s also a skill that many people (especially girls and women) know since it involves simple skill of weaving.

Okay, it’s time to learn how to make this ball using 4 green coconut leaflets.

Things required

- 4 green coconut leaflets

- Knife or scissors (optional)


We’ve made a video on how to weave this particular type of ball. You can watch it on Youtube by clicking this link

SFK Updates

Posted by Amota Eromanga on March 6, 2019 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to everyone who has signed up, used or visited SFK for whatever purpose. Your visits and connection indicate that our contents (stories & photographs) are being useful and therefore worth maintaining them. We’ll keep adding more items for you!

We recently upgraded SFK to the next level. It’s now on a paid plan. Your activities (visits, views, messages, comments) as well as our interest have inspired us to go further and better!

i) SFK now owns the domain name:-

ii) The connection is now secure, safe and private (see lock in the url) - Great!

iii) There is more web-space for our articles and pictures.

iv) And more ...

i) Noticeable changes were made to the skin, footer & navigation in the homepage

ii) New stories & photographs have been added & updated

iii) Donate button placed on the sidebar

iv) More items/links may show up later on

The button is only for those who wish to donate money. Your donation will be used for the costs and betterment of our website. Thank you.

Many people are accessing the internet from their phones. With that in mind, we hope SFK is fast, clear and displayed well on your mobile phones. Yet, we can’t deny that SFK works and looks better on computers.

Don’t forget to visit the photo page as we keep adding more photographs. We’ve committed ourselves to take best shots for your use and joy. Equipped with the Nikon d3100 with kit and Tamron lens, we anticipate to bring up amazing photographs of the environment.

Feel free to tell us what’s on your mind.

Kam bati n rabwa.

The Sweet Scent Of Home

Posted by Amota Eromanga on February 26, 2019 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

When I was young I thought of education

Peers at school doing their study

I wished to go abroad

As a teenager I experienced the new world

Differ from my culture and people

The wisdom from western education

Changed my style and living

Far beyond as I familiar with

Today it seems as thousands ahead

Like tourists when visited and left

My beloved island.

When out noble old men shared

Their wise decision seated at

‘Te Bouriki’ of Tabontebike maneaba

Where my father and grandfather

Built for my people

I could feel the anxiety within you

As you always part of it

Because you are tuned in my heart.

I think of coming back someday

To smell the scent of old perfume

'Te Bonubonu' my forefathers oil

That waved me from afar

That clasped me to Daddy's bosom

I feel the sacrifice you offered

When Mom's wrinkle hands

Comforted me from day to day

To where I stand for

Today and Tomorrow.

(Written by: Mrs Karibwannang - School Teacher)

Karakin Matari - E kororo bukin te bakoa are teaina (Mwakoro 5)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on February 23, 2019 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Ngke e euta atuna Matari ao e a noora Bakoa, are e tekateka ni kaitaraa. E a toki raoi ngkai nanon Matari bwa e a bon tibwa itaramata ma Bakoa are e a boongata arana inanon taningana mani uarerekena. Akea te kakarongoa ngkai a tabe moa uaakai ni kamwataua tarakiia i bon irouia.

Ai tera te mwaneaba aio n te tai aei? E onrake nanona ao tinanikuna irouia kaain Moone bwa kaitaraan ao kan noran te roko aio. A boni babane kaain marawa ni moa mai irouia bakoa ake a totooa man tiritiri ni karokoa ikan ma manin marawa ake a uarereke. Akea ae tiku ni mwengana ngkai ana baire Bakoa bwa te bane n roko. A bon kaman tia naba ni wene babaire iaon waaki ake a riai ni karaoaki. E a urakinaki ngkai nako nanon te mwaneaba te amwarake ni butimwaai nakon Matari.

A urakinaki ma aingaia ma aingaia ni karokoa akea bwa e a bwaenaata te amwarake arei ao man tei bwa te tabuki inanon te mwaneaba. E a bon ana arona te bwabwai ae aki kamwaaki are e airi ma baana, wakaana ao bokabokana; ika aika a kateketeke, kabuebue ao mani kanganga naba; manin taari ake a kamamate n aron te buni, te tia, te nou, te aa ao a mwaiti kurikuri riki.

“Anne marikem ibukin te bong aio. Ko riai ni kabanei n akea tamruruna ae na noraki n tiku iaon te inai imwaain otin taai n te ingabong. Ngkana ko riaon aio ao bairean taekam bwa te tiringaki!” e kanakoa ana moti Bakoa ae matoatoa.

E na tera riki ae na kona Matari? Akea riki irarikin iangoan kabanean kanana akekei, aingaia are e a nako kain te amwarake irouna. E kakaitaraaki ao mani kakamaroroaki iroun Bakoa ni karaki aika akea riki bwa ti taekan ueana, ununna, korakorana ao tiritirina iaon abana ae Moone ma ana tabo ae marawa. Akea bwa e a bong arei ao are e bon waakinako naba te amwarake ma te mamarooro irouia uaakai. Ngke e a nukanibong ao akea bwa a bwaka ni matu angiia te koraki ake inanon te mwaneaba. E kakorakoraa Bakoa bwa e na aki matu ma ngke e a bon taira bwa e a kani ngaina, ao a ti tao naba matana.

E karaurau Matari ni kabwara matan te abein are e mena iai ana man te kekenu ao mani wirikiriki nakoina ni kangai, “Kana te amwarake ae tabukirake aio n akea naba tamruruna ae ko na katikua!”

E a nako ana kai na kekenu! E nga te tabuki arei e tei inanon te mwaneaba? Bon te kamimi bwa inanon te tai ae rangi n tawe ao e a bon bing naba te amwarake arei ao man itiaki aon taian inai. Bon akea naba tamrurun te amwarake ae kona n noraki. Ai aki akora amwaraken te man ae tuakarako aei? Ao ngaia akea naba tokin kanana? E kaenakoa ngkanne baina Matari, e ana ana man arei ao mani kaokia nakoni nnena.

Te kubanrou tera iroun Bakoa ngke a ure matana ao ai akea te tabuaki ae kona n nooria. E taku bwa e mii aingaia are e a bubui raoi matana bwa e na kamwataua raoi tarakina. E takarua nakoia kaain te mwaneaba bwa a na tuoi taabo nako. E a wakinako te tutuo ma te kakae man te karangaina anne ao n reitinako inanon te ngaina. A roko i meang, maiaki, mainiku, maeao ao n taabo nako ma bon akea nikiran te amwarake ae a kunea. E a bwara nanoia aingaia are a okira Bakoa ao mani kaongoraea rongorongon aia kakae.

“Nao, ngaia bon te toa ngkoe!” e eka Bakoa nakon ana irua are e tabe ni kakaitara.

“Are ieta te akoi bwa ti a tibutaua iai!” e kaeka Matari ma te kukurei, riki ana man te kekenu are e baina atiina.

Ma e aki toki ikanne bwa n ana kauoua ni bong, ao e manga urakinaki naba te amwarake are ai aron naba are mai mwaaina. Ngke e a manga bwaka naba ni matu matan Bakoa ao e a manga bo naba ana tai te kekenu n amwarake. E a manga bwaronako naba te koraki bwa tuoan ao kakaean nikiran te amwarake bwa e karabaaki ia. E bwara nanoia taani kakae ao ikanne are e a manga tokanikai naba Matari man te tiringaki are kakariariaaki.

N te kateniua ni bong, are ai bon ana kaitira ni bong Matari, ao e a manga roko naba te amwarake inanon te mwaneaba. Aio te tai are e a kaman baireaki bwa ai bon te bakaborau naba ngkai e nang tiringaki n te ingabong are i mwiina. E ata te bwai are e nang riki nakoina Matari aingaia are ngke e kaotinakoa te kekenu n te tairiki anne ao e tuangnga ni kangai, “Kana te amwarake ae tabuki aio ao ko a reitianako naba ni kaniia kaain nanon ma tinanikun te mwaneaba ni bane. Uringnga ni katuka Bakoa n ti ngaia!”

E kibara te amwarake are i nuuka arei te kekenu ao man itiria n akea nikirana. E aki toki nanona iai aingaia are e a manga kanaanako are riaan boti n akea temanna ae katikua. Ni baneia kaain nanon te mwaneaba ao e a manga eweka tinanikun te mwaneaba ao ni kaniia naba ni kabaneia. E aki naba rauaki nanona ma birotona aingaia are e a manga okira nanon te mwaneba ao man kibara Bakoa. E takaakaa ni bubuti buokana Bakoa nakon Matari bwa e na taua ana man arei.

Ngke e ongo Matari takakaan Bakoa ao e a kiba n taua te kekenu. Ma e oimwi teutana bwa e a tia n kanaki mwakoron waen Bakoa are teaina. Ni karokoa te bong aio, ao e bon teimatoa n noraki kororon bukin te bakoa are teaina. E riki anne man ana mwakuri te kekenu - are e mwaneweaki n te karaki aio!

Imwiin tian anne, ao e a kitana Moone Matari n okirikaki nakon tibuna are e tiku n tataningaia n aia atimwakoro are a mamaeka iai. A tiku ni maeka ikekei ma te kukurei.

Mwakoro 1 - 4:

Mwakoro 1:

Mwakoro 2:

Mwakoro 3:

Mwakoro 4:

Nang Keneia

Posted by Amota Eromanga on February 19, 2019 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

At Kiebu on Makin, there lived a man called Nang Keneia. The people of Kiebu at that time, occasionally went to Butaritari to attend the dancing festival. After preparing all that was required and needed, people had to wait for the day of the trip.

When the day came, the people got onto the ‘baurua’ (big sailing canoe) which would take them to Butaritari. The canoe went on its first then second trip taking many people there, however Nang Keneia hardly care of the commotion.

Someone asked him, “How about you Nang Keneia? There will be lots of fun out there. Aren’t you coming?”

“How can I go? I can’t stand the fact that our toddy will dry up if nobody looks after them.” answered Nang Keneia. “I will take care of all the toddy trees in the village.”

Not long, the last trip sailed off. Everyone had left except Nang Keneia who was now staying behind all be himself.

In the afternoon, Nang Keneia managed to finish cutting all the toddy trees of the whole village long enough before dark. He was capable of that because he was skillful and active. Just as darkness fell, he went to the beach to sleep. He wanted not to be seen during the night so he buried himself in the sand. With the help of the coconut shell placed over his nose, he lay there and slept.

At midnight, the ghosts arrived at the beach to play the game of ‘digging sand’. While they were playing, they found Nang Keneia sleeping there. The ghosts gathered around him and began playing with him. They tickled and tickled him to laugh until daybreak. In the morning, the ghosts left Nang Keneia lying weak on the beach.

Despite being tired and weak, Nang Keneia was able to cut all the village toddy. Then he walked around the island looking for another place to sleep. He knew he must find a good place to hide from the ghosts. On that second night, he hid and slept at to the top of a very high tree.

At midnight, the ghosts started looking for Nang Keneia. When they found him, they dragged him to the beach and began tickling him again and again until dawn. Nang Keneia felt very weak and restless.

On the third night, Nang Keneia hid himself so well that the ghosts failed to find him. The ghosts tried to trick him by calling out in loud voices the names of the people of Kiebu. When Nang Keneia heard those names, he thought his people had finally returned from Butaritari. He quickly walked out of his safe place to meet them. Poor Nang Keneia - he was found again!

The ghosts dragged him to the beach where they tickled him over and over again until he died.

When the people of Kiebu returned, they found Nang Keneia lying dead on the beach. Everyone felt sad for the lost of Nang Keneia.

Karakin Matari - E kororo bukin te bakoa are teaina (Mwakoro 4)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on February 14, 2019 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)


I mwiin te tai ae aki rangi ni maan, ao akea bwa a manga otirake mai taari n te tabo teuana ike e a mena te aba i etaia. E iabuti te tabo are a otirake iai ao man aki toko waeia, aingaia are a uauarake riki teutana ni kaea eta. Ngke a toko waeia ma aontano ao a nakonako ni karaurau rinanon taian rawarawa ake a mena imwaaia. E rimoa kaain taari ao man taorimwiaki iroun Matari.

Ma ai aki akora bwaai ake a tauraoi ao mani wene n tataninga inanon taian rawarawa akanne! Eng, bwaai ni riibuaka ao ni kamwane ake a katauraoaki ibukin Matari. N te moan rawarawa ao e a bon ana arona teibabaan te eenga, te reka ao manin riki taari ake a katekereke mani kabuebue. E ngae n anne ao a bon aki bwerengaki waen Matari bwa ai bon te ototoi nako naba kateketekeia ma rekaia. E ngare ni kakaniko i nanona Matari bwa e bon ataia ae bwaai ni kamwane ibukina ai ngaia are e a merea raona arei ao man taku, “Nao, ai aki akora tanon nanon te rawa aio. E rangi ni kamwengaraoi te nakonako iaona!”

E aki kaeka teuare kaain taari ma e ti wirikiriki inanona, “Ngaia te kangaanga te aomata aei. E tau ma karokoira n te rawa ae imwaaira aio.”

Bon te rawa ae a reimaurua inanona taian kima aika totooa. Ngkana a in kiima aikai ao ai bon te mantintin naba bwaai ake a reke iai. Akea naba ae kona ni kauki mwangaia ngkana a aririi. Akea riki bwa ti te bae ao te mate bwaai ake a kuba n reke irouia.

E a tabe n toua ngkai nanon te rawa aio Matari. Ngke e ruruon rikaaki waena ao e a namakina naba ingin taari mai nano. E aki maan ao e a namakina te bwai ae e nimta mani kooni waena. E ataia Matari bwa te kima ae te toa. E eeka ao man taku, “Nao, ao ai manga tera raom aei?”

E keiaki ni karabaa nanona ni karekekai ao man kaeka, “Nangoan waen Bakoa. Kanakoi mai waem ngkana ko aki kainanoi!”

E na tabwara Matari ma are e a waanini naba rikaaki baina rimarenan mwakeren aubungan te kima are taua waena ao man raeia ni katangainaa. Ai kawara ao ai kananoangara te kima bwa ti te tangaina ao ni maraunako ni mate. Ngke e a manga ruo waena are teaina ao e a manga nimtaki naba n te kima are temanna. E aki anga ana tai Matari ma e a manga raemwangaia naba ni kamatea. Ao ai bon arona naba anne nakoia kiima ake a komakia waena inanon te rawa anne.

“Ai kananoangara manin taari iroun teuaei!” e tangi ni bwaebwaeti i nanona teuare kaain taari.

Ai bon te kabanea n rawa ngkai are a toua nanona naakai. Ngke a bon tibwa bwaka i nukana, ao bon te tounako Matari n te bwai are e a tabe ngkai n niiroarake waena. E burita waena ma akea te bwai ae riki. Akea bwa e a manga nimtaki waena are teaina. Ngaia anne, bon kiikan marawa ae te toa are e tabe ngkai ni kanim kaona ao man niroarake rabwatan Matari. Ngke a mwaneaua raoi kaona iaon rabwatan Matari ao kai are e a katiitiki naba nako nanon bwangana ae te toa. E kakoraa Matari ni taeki kaao akekei bwa e na aki tikinako ao mani iinako. E a bon atin te kabo korakora irouia naakai inanon te tai ae maan. Irian te aitara ni boo aio bon kiben, takarebun ao mantoan nanon te rawa are a bokakano iai. E kataunariaki te aitara aio bwa kaanga ai aron te kaitira ni bo ni buaka imarenani marawa ao aonteaba. N rokon korakorana ao a tei naao, a tang aira ao e bukibuki te rurungaa ae bati. Akea bwa e a matakuakinaki te bokakano aio mai ieta irouia kaain aban Bakoa are Moone ao iriana are te kantataninga bwa tera tokina.

E namakinna Matari bwa e a moanna n rotaki marurungin rabwatana aingaia are e unika ana koro matang imarenan taian rakai ao man rooia iai bwa e na aki tikinako. Ma ai kawa ra Matari bwa e tabe ni kekerikaaki korakorana aingaia are e a tabe ngkai ni iinako nako nanon ana nangananga aiana arei. E na bae ni bwabwa imwiin te tai ae aki maan, bwa e a roko ngkai taari iaan bwangena. E ataia bwa ngkana e tao bwairina ao ai anne naba te tai are e nang kabuanibwai maeuna iai. Tera ngkai ae e nang karaoia? N ana tai ni iango ae e a bon ti roko naba uringan neiere tibuna are e tiku i eta n tataninga karairakina. E aki tabwara ma e a tang naba nakon tibuna ni kaota te kabuanibwai are e nang riki nakoina.

Ngke e ongo tangin Matari teunaine arei ao e a kaeka ike e a kauringnga iai taekan ana man te kekenu are n te abein. Ngke e ongo Matari ao e a keiaki ni wanini rikaaki baina ao mani kabwara matan te abein are e mena iai ana man are te kekenu. Eng, e a boni kaman kariaria kaotinakoana te man aio, aingaia are ngke e uki matan te abein ao e a bon ti kanenei nako naba ni kaea kanoun te kiika ni marawa arei. N rokona iai ao e a bon itira naba kanouna ni kanna n te tai ae rangi n tawe. E uara wiimwaakan te aeka ni man aio? Ao ngaia e bon aki naba kan rauaki naba iai nanona ma biritona ae e bon teimatoa naba ni baki!

A na tera ae e na kona te kiika ni marawa ngke e akea kanouna? Eng bon ti te ngonnako man rabwatan Matari. E buritiarake Matari ao man teerakea nako etan te rawarawa. A uakaka kaon te kiika ngke e bwaka ni maraunako ietan te rawarawa.

“Ai kawara ana bwai ni irebareka Bakoa bwa ko a tiringnga! e tang n rainanoanga te tia tararuai manin taari.

“Te bwai ni irebareka tera ngkai ti a kuri kanga iai? e kaeka Matari ma te bwana ni okinnano ao ni korakai.

A waerakea te bike ngkai ao mani bakatetea te mwaneaba are e mena i mwaaia.

“Kaaraki, kaaraki! e wewete Bakoa man ana boti ian mwaneabana.

“Mauri O, mauri O! e kaeka Matari ao e rinnako n te mwaneaba.

Mwakoro 1, 2, 3 & 5:

Mwakoro 1:

Mwakoro 2:

Mwakoro 3:

Mwakoro 5: